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Youth Spotlight: Ana Calderon

Ana Calderon came to Sociedad Latina in 2012, at the start of her junior year of high school. She moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic during freshman year and was struggling to understand the American college application process. She reflects, “My experience was so bad because I didn’t know how the Boston Public Schools system worked and nobody told me. They should have people who talk to your parents to tell them what you have to do to graduate and go to college. I didn’t take my SATs my junior year because I didn’t know until I came to Sociedad.”

With the support of staff and volunteers in our Mission Possible!: Postsecondary Success program, Ana prepared for and took the SAT, advocated for herself at school to ensure she was taking the classes she needed to go to college and applied for several postsecondary options. After graduating from Brighton High School in 2014, she decided to enroll in Bunker Hill Community College’s Psychology program. “Going to college is one of the most important things in my life. Sociedad Latina helped me reach my dream! I’m glad that they were here for me for this big step,” says Ana.

Ana recently completed her first year at Bunker Hill with an impressive 3.67 GPA and is enjoying her second year of classes this fall. She hopes to graduate in spring 2017 and then transfer to a four-year university. To make sure this goal becomes a reality, Ana meets monthly with coaches in Sociedad Latina’s Academy for Latinos Achieving Success (ALAS) program to get help with course selection, complete the FAFSA and stay on track academically. In her own words: “I always say that I’ve been lucky because I do have the support I need to reach my goals. I know that Sociedad Latina’s ALAS program will get me there by helping me to choose the right classes for my career. Sociedad has helped me since I was in 11th grade and today I can say that I am in college thanks to the help they have given me."