When Aide moved to Denver from a tiny town she describes as “not even on the map” she felt lost. Her high school of 2,000 students felt overwhelming and impersonal and she had trouble finding other students to connect with.
Depressed and lonely and facing troubles at home, Aide let her GPA slip below 2.8 for the first time; and the worst thing was, she didn’t even care.
Encouraged by a trusted teacher, Aide enrolled in an afterschool technology learning and career exploration program at Mi Casa called Digital Connectors. She hoped to meet new friends and learn some new skills. She never imagined the program would become such a strong source of inspiration and support.
“It was a dark time in my life but Mi Casa was the light that would shine into my tunnel ,” Aide said. “Mi Casa gave me the opportunity to become a different person than the people I was surrounded by. It gave me a different focus in my life and averted my worries from home.”
Aide looked forward all day to her afterschool program at Mi Casa where she learned about the inner workings of a computer, digital media and careers in IT. Though she admits there were days when studying for the Cisco IT certification wasn’t that engaging, she understood the value.
“Mi Casa helped me view myself as a professional and to contribute the best of myself to the community and the program,” Aide said. “In the Digital Connectors program, we didn’t just learn leadership skills, we applied them. We didn’t just learn about our character, we learned to change ourselves for the better.”
Aide went on to graduate from high school near the top of her class. She recently started her freshman year at Mesa State University in Grand Junction – the first in her family to attend college. She plans to major in nursing.
“Without Mi Casa’s support and encouragement, I wouldn’t be the individual I am today. Mi Casa gave me a direction and focus in life that still influences me today.”