At just seventeen years old, Isahiah Erilus has an impressive resume that includes community organizing, curriculum development, being a Meredith Cameron Scholar at New England Baptist Hospital, and interning with State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez. Isahiah began his journey to success in the 6th grade, when he joined Sociedad Latina's Mission Enrichment Program (now our STEAM Team). With Sociedad Latina, Isahiah found supportive staff and a place to get homework help. Isahiah recalls "I was one of the worst youth in MEP, but because staff kept working with me I matured more and more each year."
It was these strong relationships with staff that lead Isahiah to become a Youth Community Organizer (YCO) at Sociedad Latina when he entered high school. Isahiah states that "growing up as a kid here [in Mission Hill] I saw things that I felt I had no power to change, but being a YCO gave me the skills I needed to go advocate for myself and my community." Through 3 years of involvement, Isahiah became a leader within YCO and an effective advocate for Boston's Mission Hill and Latino communities. His proudest achievement is working on a culturally relevant history and civics curriculum that was presented to the Boston Teachers’ Union.
Because Isahiah was interested in a career in public service, Sociedad Latina connected him to an apprenticeship placement in the office of State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez. Utilizing the skills he learned at Sociedad Latina, he built relationships between Representative Sanchez's office and youth in Mission Hill and across Boston. He also organized youth engagement events that shared resources and job opportunities with community youth. In describing his internship experience, Isahiah says "my internship created a pathway to see the real needs of the community." With the continued support and guidance of Sociedad Latina's Academy for Latinos Achieving Success (ALAS) program, Isahiah began his freshman year at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts this fall and plans to become a teacher to "make a direct impact on the lives of youth".