Authors: Luis Fernando Briseño Cruz & Kate Greenaway
Now that I’m almost finished with my university career, I can look back and see what a huge difference it made that I was sponsored by Jóvenes Adelante. I have been given so much. I had encouragement every step of the way, for five whole years. It’s amazing to me that Jóvenes Adelante had so much faith in me because five years ago, they didn’t even know me! And they gave me so much more than scholarship money. They cared about me as an individual and supported me while I grew as a person.
I was especially lucky with my mentor, Frank. When Frank and I first met, he didn’t speak any Spanish and I only had a very beginner English from prepa. It was awkward! But I decided right then to not be shy even when I was making a lot of errors. Frank really wanted to be helpful, so I just had to show courage and take the opportunity to learn English with someone so encouraging and patient – and my English has improved so much!
What I loved about JA was how they inspired me to expand my horizons. The older students made me realize that I could even think about traveling, and last year I went with a team from school to a competition in Brazil! Representing Mexico at an international competition — and placing third — was a dream come true for me. It has motivated me to set my sights even higher.
This is why I decided to honour Jóvenes Adelante during our Posada in December. I wanted to say a public thank you to the staff, board and volunteers. Actually, I wanted to do more than simply say thank you, so I decided to have a plaque made that I could present at that event.
Jóvenes Adelante expects you to reach for the stars, and if you make the effort to reach for your dream, they will come on board with any extra support you need.
So I really encourage my fellow students to take advantage of being in the Jóvenes Adelante family. Don’t be afraid to set your sites high and to talk about your dreams. And don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Luis Fernando Briseño Cruz
Jóvenes Adelante's mission is to unlock a radically more expansive future for SMA youth by easing financial barriers to higher education, and by developing life and leadership skills. For information, to join our mailing list, or to become a sponsor, mentor or volunteer, please visit our website jovenesadalante.org, call 415 150 0030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org