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Teen Shares Roadmap to Success

Posted on January 16, 2018 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

“Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Just Do It”

Raised by a single immigrant father, Alodi Chapuseux was once described by some in her high school by the challenges she faced.  But now a sophomore engineering student at Stony Brook,  she returned to that high school to credit Catholic Charities Alianza In-School-Youth Program for her success and rally students facing similar challenges to rise above them.

“You will be surprised at what you are capable of doing,” she told students at the High School for Health Careers and Sciences in Washington Heights when she met with them before her college winter break.  “Just do it!”

She is a case in point.  Shortly after she met with the students she left to join fellow members of Students Helping Honduras (SHH) in San Pedro Sula, Honduras to apply her civil engineering skills building some of SHH’s 1,000 planned schools. 

Born in the U.S. but raised much of her life in the Dominican Republic, Alodi identifies with challenges Honduran children face.  SHH plans not just to build 1,000 schools in Honduras, she said.  Instead, similar to the Catholic Charities Alianza In-School-Youth program, it also works to create educational and leadership opportunities that deter young people from lives of crime and poverty.

“When I first started high school, I was incapable of being open to new ideas and breaking out of my comfort zone,” Alodi told the current cluster of In-School-Youth participants.  “Because of the encouragement and support of its amazing (In-School-Youth program staff) I discovered that I had many qualities that I could share with my community as well as greater ambitions for myself.”

 

High School for Health Careers and Sciences Student Body by the Numbers:
  • 97% qualify for free or reduced lunch based on household income
  • 99% minority
  • 64% speak Spanish at home

All children deserve the opportunity to develop social skills, gain confidence and develop lasting values that will serve them as adults. Catholic Charities' network of services aims to address the physical, emotional and psychological needs of children and their families.

 

Catholic Charities Alianza Youth Services partners with the High School for Health Careers and Science and fellow youth-service organizations to serve as training ground for a new generation of strong leaders. Whatever fields in which participants are interested, whether it is civil engineering that is Alodi’s passion, or theatre, writing – whatever -- this program provides tools and resources to integrate civic engagement into their academic and professional work.  It offers workshops on college readiness, financial literacy, health, and youth employment programs.

“There are no words to describe the appreciation I have towards the program,” Alodi said, “but most importantly the staff.”

Find out about Catholic Charities free and low-cost services for children and teens

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