When Cherivona (Vona) started the rigorous, nine-month Digital Connectors technology-learning program at Mi Casa, she never imagined the impact it would have on her life. Now, with a part-time paying job, strong computer skills and high school graduation on the horizon, Vona is no longer timid about going after what she wants.

When Vona graduates from high school, she plans to be the first in her immediate family to go to college and earn a bachelor’s degree. Her passion is hip hop dance, and Vona hopes to one day capitalize on her education and open a nonprofit dance studio for kids. Vona’s goal is to provide affordable dance classes for kids with limited resources and introduce other young people to the activity that has been her creative outlet since she was a little girl.

“My experience at Mi Casa has definitely helped my resume, but it also helped my confidence,” Vona says. “Leadership is about community engagement and helping youth realize they are valuable and contributing members to this society. I recognize that in myself and want to help other kids recognize it too.”