Our tutoring staff grew up in this neighborhood. Most of them were participants in our programs until we were able to hire them for their first jobs. This week, they registered 50 elementary and middle-school students for Presencia in the new school year! They assigned each student a mentor, mapped out our weekly schedule for the semester, and organized and cleaned the Presencia apartment.
They did all this while helping parents in the community register students at the local school, where language barriers, complicated processes, inflexible work hours, and changing COVID protocols made the process extremely difficult.
After all that, they closed out the summer by throwing an all-afternoon water party for the neighborhood today. I brought my kids, and watched with wonder as they splashed with their friends in inflatable pools, chased each other around with water balloons, and played “across the ocean” in the field next to the leasing office.
How is this staff of young people who grew up in the Presencia family able to do so much good for our neighborhood? None of them has a college degree. Most of them are still in high school. They’re all working at their first job.
They do it because they know and love the children of this neighborhood better than anyone else could. They grew up here, which makes them better-educated in the issues our neighbors face. They have experience going to the same schools, riding the same bus routes, speaking the same language, navigating the same challenges.
They also do it because there is a generous, caring, and wise Presencia family giving them space, support, guidance, and encouragement.
If you have supported, prayed, counseled, partnered, or volunteered with us, we’re so grateful to have you in the family! You’ve made wonderful, life-changing work possible.
If you haven’t yet, I invite you to become part of this family! You can visit our website to learn about more ways to get involved this year or go to our “Donate” page and join our community!
Have a hopeful weekend!