For this month’s Mentor-Mentee Relationship Highlight, Teyana Maria Grande of Sociedad Latina was kind enough to speak with me about an exceptional mentor from her program: Heather Alcala.
Heather Alcala is at nearby Madison Park Technical Vocational High School. She works one-on-one with 12 students, helping them take the steps towards finishing high school and moving on to their postsecondary goals.
“What I like about volunteering is that now there are 12 kids that don’t have to do life by themselves,” described Heather. “When I was growing up, I would have loved to have someone to talk to, so this is what I try to give to my students, without judgement.” Heather also explained how grateful the youth are to be able to talk about the things that are bothering them, rather than bottling everything up and having that affect their personal and academic lives.
Heather recently graduated from Bunker Hill Community College and is transferring to Lesley College to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. When she finishes, she wants to work with youth in the foster care system. Heather pointed out that “Sociedad Latina fueled my passion towards working in youth development. I really enjoyed learning about everyone’s particular story. We all have a story that we add into our community and each story has its own beauty. The beauty comes from what you have turned a hard circumstance into and how it has shaped you. I think it is so amazing to witness those that have come from a rough start and see them achieve their goals.”