Seven year-old Angie Mendoza-Villatoro and 13 year-old Mindy Morales, both named Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Month for November, are determined to follow their dream of becoming doctors and are already focused on education, thanks to the guidance and encouragement they receive from Education Coordinator, Allison Kaiser.
Angie wants to become a cardiologist and for her young age, has full grasp and understanding of the meaning of the occupation. “I want to help people with their hearts and save them from heart attacks,” said Angie. Angie’s parents have played a big role in her interest in medicine and encourage her to take her school work very seriously. Angie, who has been a member for one year, attends the Club every day. She enjoys participating in the Art Room and playing in the gym with her friends but the most important role the Club plays for her is helping her achieve her goal of becoming a doctor. “The Club helps me with my homework and with things I don’t know or have a hard time understanding. Math is very difficult for me and Ms. Allison has really helped me.”
Mindy Morales, who wants to become a dentist when she grows up also credits Ms. Allison for helping her master the English language. “I couldn’t speak any English when I first started coming to the Club. Ms. Allison was the only person I would communicate with, the only person I felt comfortable around,” said Mindy. “She helped me become a better student.” Mindy has been a member for three years and her favorite subject is English but she also loves art and painting. She is now in the Middle School Program at the Club and involved in a number of the volunteer and outreach efforts. “I like the Middle School Program. They let us be kids but they also expect a lot from us.” Mindy’s dentist was influential in sparking her interest in dentistry, which she hopes to become when she grows up by studying and working hard to achieve her goal.
“I cried when Mindy moved up to the Middle School Program,” said Allison. “When she first started coming to the Club, I would work with her for hours. I taught Mindy English and she taught me Spanish, she is my greatest success story.” Allison, who just graduated from LI Post with a degree in Secondary English Education, became involved with the Club as a volunteer in the Learning Center, working her way up to becoming the Club’s Education Coordinator. Allison has been with the Club for four years and with Mindy and Angie as well as with all the Club members she oversees, Allison tries to impart one important message, “Always try to do your best.” “They don’t always think they have the same capabilities as others and I try to encourage them to believe in themselves and to understand that they are equally as capable, if not more so. I also have very high expectations of them and try to get them to excel and strive for more than they think they can handle.”
“We are blessed to have Allison on our team here for the past four years. Her passion and dedication to see the youth achieve academically and reach for their goals is outstanding. As a former Club Education Director, I know first-hand the challenges Allison faces to implement impactful educational programming that is fun and engaging in an after-school setting. Allison rises to the occasion each and every day and is always looking for new ways to help our members learn something new or overcome a challenge,” said Executive Director Melissa Rhodes.
Congratulation to Angie and Mindy for winning the honorary Youth of the Month title for November and, congratulations to Allison on receiving her degree from LI Post.
Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club at Lincoln House has been serving the community since 1903 by providing a safe and caring environment that will inspire and enable all young people to realize their full potential as productive and responsible citizens. The Club serves more than 700 youths, ages 6 to 18, in the Glen Cove community with a variety of after school programs in education, sports and recreation, dance, technology and art, all designed to enrich and enhance learning and build self-esteem. To learn more about Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club and how you can help support the Club, its mission and service to the youth of the Glen Cove community, please call Melissa Rhodes, Executive Director at 516-671-8030 or visit www.glencovebgc.org.