As an excellent student and young leader, Jonathan is an outstanding example of how BronxWorks is “building futures.” He sets the bar high for himself as he works hard to maintain his 98 GPA at All Hallows High School. He knows the importance of making positive decisions, even if it means forgoing popularity and speaks openly and honestly about the complexity of being a teenager in a challenging environment. These characteristics were noted recently when Jonathan was recognized by the Con Edison Yankees Kids program for demonstrating the values of service, honesty, concern, courtesy, excellence, and teamwork.
BronxWorks has been a big part of Jonathan’s life since he joined the teen program at the Community Center. His brother Julio, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University recently, had been enrolled in the same teen program a few years ago. Julio told Jonathan about his positive experience with BronxWorks, particularly in helping him stay focused and prepare for college. Jonathan has had a similar experience and plans to follow in his brother’s footsteps by going to college, with his sights set high on MIT.
Jonathan identifies the teen program as a place where he can also have fun. The gym is a safe and friendly space where he plays team sports, and there’s a chess club that allows him to develop critical thinking and planning skills. He has also been able to enhance both his own math and leadership skills by tutoring other participants. Jonathan has made new friends at the teen program who, like him, have plans to pursue careers in engineering and/or creating businesses of their own. Jonathan says that the Community Center staff is very supportive, as they encourage him and his friends to set goals, strive for excellence, and maintain a positive outlook. He feels that the staff really care about his future and are preparing him to succeed.
Jonathan will soon be entering the 11th grade and acknowledges that he has a lot of challenges ahead of him. After taking his Regents exams and finals in May, he is now preparing to take the SATs, but he says that the teen program staff continue to encourage him to be confident. Jonathan credits BronxWorks for helping him set high goals and providing him with the support to realize them, lifting his life and building his future.
BronxWorks Adolescent Development Programs provide teenagers with important life skills, promoting academic achievement, career exploration, and exposure to the arts. Jonathan shared his story, the first in the 40 BronxWorks Stories series, at the BronxWorks annual event on May 15th, which launched our 40th Anniversary Year of Celebration.
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