2020 was a year that stopped a lot of people in their tracks, not knowing what to do next. For fifteen of Learning Works Charter School graduates who received their high school diplomas, it was no different.
Enter Kathy Lee, our Foundation’s Director of Community Services. She guides graduates through every step and obstacle of getting a job, enrolling in and achieving more training or education, and helps these young adults realize their dreams so they can thrive.
Kathy’s tenacious style of mentoring has produced 9 success stories and counting. Below are three recent success stories: Alejandra, Dalen and Luis.
Alejandra is a single mother with a 2 year old son named Andre. Earlier this year, her son’s father passed away. She expressed needing help supporting her son and that she was interested in going back to school to become a Medical Assistant. Fast training programs are options that are available and attractive, but can also be very intense and expensive.
When looking for potential options, Monrovia Adult School had a Medical Assistant Program that Alejandra qualified for with tuition taken care of by the No Cost Training Program. Kathy met Alejandra for the first time on campus at Monrovia Adult School to help her enroll and have her take the enrollment assessment. For this program, she needed a laptop that Learning Works was willing and eager to provide. Her program started on December 1, 2020 with the Back of Office training portion, and then on March 6, 2021 for the Front of Office training.
During her enrollment in this program, Alejandra dealt with many personal struggles including the loss of her job and the loss of her son’s father. Learning Work’s College Counselor Mike Toro and Kathy were with her every step of the way, along with Job Developer at Monrovia Adult School, Ms. Chick. Towards the end of the program, Alejandra’s mentors (and cheerleaders) had virtual progress checks with her, and she hit every single milestone.
On May 27, 2021, Alejandra proudly walked across the stage at graduation in her maroon scrubs.
Dalen is a young gentleman who expressed that alongside his passion for fixing phones, he was interested in becoming a Pharmacy Technician. When looking into PT programs in the local area, Kathy found one at Monrovia Adult School. Together, they applied for a scholarship that allowed Dalen to enroll in the program for $650 in total, with the funds provided by GIVE-MENTOR-LOVE.
On January 23, 2021, Dalen began his Pharmacy Technician program. Throughout the course of the program, he was challenged by and faced many personal hurdles. However, Monrovia Adult School connected him with a mentor and tutor, TeDese Ross, to provide him guidance and support. TeDese changed Dalen’s life by empowering him with a new perspective and drive to achieve, and most importantly, never gave up on Dalen and motivated him to the finish line.
On May 27, 2021, Dalen proudly walked across the stage in his pharmacy coat at graduation having completed his program with the requirements to pass and to become certified. Dalen is now a Pharmacy Technician.
Luis is a reformed teenager who has experienced trauma and hardship in his life due to gang violence. When unexpectedly attacked and robbed, Luis lost his upper front tooth. He has experienced a lot of family death this year which has made it necessary for him to financially support his sister and niece.
Luis is an intelligent young man who loves science and completed 75 credits his last year at Learning Works Charter School to achieve his high school diploma. His future is bright, currently attending East Los Angeles College while also working to help underprivileged youth at Homeboy Industries. But he needed a smile.
When asked to help, Robert Wheeler, D.D.S. of La Cañada very kindly made a temporary removable partial denture for Luis free of charge, along with other dental work. But, Luis needs an implant to make this smile permanent. This implant will cost $4,500. If you would like to help, any amount is greatly appreciated. Please donate on our website by clicking here and email Kathy (firstname.lastname@example.org) of your gift. You will be provided a tax receipt for your gift. Thank you for your help.
A special thank you to the following individuals for playing a significant role in the success stories for these individuals:
Natalie Macchia, Monrovia Adult School Counselor
Ms. Escutia, Medical Assistant Program Teacher
Ms. Delgado, Pharmacy Tech Program Teacher
John Russel, Vice Principal
Flint Fertig, Director of Adult Education
Robert Wheeler, D.D.S. of La Cañada
GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE is a Foundation of dedicated professionals serving LA County youths and young adults in-crisis, at risk, homeless or in foster care, and victims of Human Trafficking.
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