OUR STORIES, OUR SUCCESSES, OUR FUTURE
Dream to Succeed
Jocelyn Martinez is currently a senior at West Bend West High School and participated in our first year of the “Dream to Succeed” program during the 2015-2016 school year, along with her mother, Guadalupe Tapia. Both of them learned a lot about post secondary education and different ways to pay for college. They have seen immense value and benefit in participating in the program, and would love to see it continued for more Latino students and families in the future.
Jocelyn shares that she benefitted most from learning about “financial aid, because I did not know what FAFSA was and how or when to sign up in order to receive some money to pay for college. After learning more about financial aid it made me less scared of how I was going to be able to pay for college.”
Her favorite session during the school year so far, “was when Sandra Torres (bilingual journalist and news anchor for Telemundo Wisconsin) came and talked about where she came from and how she achieved her goals to become a news reporter even through her life was a struggle she never gave up. After attending, she gave me hope that I too will achieve my dream of becoming a child psychiatrist as long as I push myself to do more than my limit and to study hard in school.”
Jocelyn is very interested in going to college after graduation and would like to study a career in child psychology. She says, “The Dream to Succeed program has opened my eyes into thinking more about my future and how it is important to stay in school and to get good grades so we can be successful in life. This program offered many opportunities with different colleges that I was able to learn more about how much they all cost and what majors they offer, which helps me pick what college is the best for me and the career of my dreams.”
She would recommend the Dream to Succeed program to other students because “this program helps you out a lot from learning about financial aid to touring colleges, planning your future and skills that we should have which will benefit us in our future. The opportunities you receive from this program are amazing. I really thank the people who take their time to plan things because not everyone would take us to tour colleges/hospitals or try to have people to come in and talk to students like me.”
Jocelyn’s mother, Guadalupe, enjoys having her in the program. She shares, “I feel that she will gain information that will help guide her with her future. Jocelyn has learned about the many opportunities that are available to her and has enjoyed visiting these different colleges. I feel that my daughter is being motivated and encouraged by the people involved in the program. This is a great program because it provides information and encourages students to strive for success. I hope that the students that are attending the program actually take advantage by incorporating what they learn into their future plans.
Healthy Latinos, Healthy Futures
In 2014, Casa Guadalupe Education Center provided a Latino Healthy Lifestyle Choices Program, which empowered local Latino families to make healthier decisions in the areas of nutrition, physical activity and chronic care management.
One Latino family of four from Hartford: Osiel, Maria del Carmen and their two young girls, Nashly and Emily, participated in the majority of the health activities we provided.
Maria del Carmen said she enjoyed all of the health programs we provided for her family in 2014, especially those that included child participation. She found the programs valuable because they helped her family take care of their health and think more seriously about it.
Since attending our health programming, Maria del Carmen said she has seen a difference in the way her family looks at its health. She said that before, they didn’t know much about blood pressure and hypertension and the importance of knowing the difference between normal and high blood pressure numbers. Before attending these health activities they also didn’t eat as healthy or pay attention to food labels or the portion sizes they were eating.
She now has more knowledge about these topics that she is implementing into her and her family’s lives. She has learned the importance of checking her blood pressure, and knowing what normal blood pressure levels should be. She has learned more about eating healthier food, how to better understand and read food labels, recognizes the USDA “My Plate”, the different food groups and how many portions to eat every day. She understands her family has to be more active to stay healthy and since attending physical activity health sessions, and said she has started to ride her bike, take more walks, and play games that include a lot of movement with her family.
Through some of our health activities, we provided families with healthy recipes. Maria del Carmen confirmed she has cooked some of the recipes she has received, including a salad with jicama, black beans, green pepper and corn, and an oven baked apple and sweet potato dish.
She said she will definitely continue to participate in health activities provided by Casa Guadalupe in the future. She expressed she likes to keep learning more about how to take care of her and her family’s health and how to be more active. She also appreciates that all of our programs are bilingual.
This family’s personal testimony to what new information they have learned about their health and the healthy choices they are implementing show Casa Guadalupe the need to continue providing these beneficial programs and activities.
If you can’t read, you can’t succeed!
Homework was a struggle for Lupita. After school, her parents needed her to watch her younger sibling while they were at work and while they attended MPTC English language classes.
Casa Guadalupe Education Center’s weekly program, “Helping Hispanic Children Achieve Academic Success”, provided Lupita with adult and high school tutors for science, reading, and math. Using the Casa Guadalupe library, her brother was able to read while Lupita was tutored.
Can you help us read and write better English?
A young couple from Puerto Rico sought assistance from Casa Guadalupe when referred by the wife’s coworker. The wife had recently taken a new position with the USDA in Wisconsin. The husband, a chemical engineer, had recently acquired his Master’s in Food Sciences and has two-years of industry experience in a Puerto Rican brewery. Even though Casa Guadalupe had no “Advanced Conversational English” class in place, the staff quickly recognized the couple’s unique language needs and connected them to resources.
Ann Bronk, West Bend East High School English /Reading teacher and Casa Guadalupe volunteer was assigned to help the couple with English speaking and writing. Says Ann of her experience, “I have enjoyed helping the couple gain fluency with their school-learned English vocabulary. My seven-year-old stepson has met the couple! He now practices his Spanish with greater interest because he has glimpsed the challenges and excitement of speaking a second language. So much good has happened in a short time – and I thank Casa Guadalupe’s expertise and community connection.”
To continue the above story from Gustavo’s perspective, he readily expresses that Casa Guadalupe has been a very welcoming and comfortable place for him and his wife since they arrived in Wisconsin. When asked what he has gained from his experience with Casa Guadalupe, he replied, “…how to write and speak better in English. Also they have helped my wife and me to adjust for American culture.”
Gustavo says he will definitely recommend Casa Guadalupe to others, “Casa Guadalupe is a very good place, with very nice people. “
Aydee recently moved to Washington County from Mexico and is a very talented woman who has dreams of owning her own seamstress business, specializing in creating beautiful dresses for all occasions (weddings, quinceañeras, first communions, etc…) She started attending our adult English classes in West Bend, and her husband recently mentioned:
“I think the classes have really helped Aydee, so much so that she is now going to English Bible classes. The group is going to buy her an English/Spanish Bible as a gift. Thanks again for all your help.”
We’re proud of you, Aydee, and enjoy helping you on your English language acquisition journey!
Your generous support of Casa Guadalupe Education Center will help ensure many more success stories as we improve literacy, integrate and unite Hispanic families into our community with meaningful connections and positive outcomes.
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