¡Vamos Ya! fills the risk-gap by providing a community of emotional and educational support. This is captured in the following story:
Meredith (not real name) joined Peace Pals when she was in first grade. She followed in the path of her older siblings, who were also in the program. Their mother was also highly involved, so the culture of having high expectations of yourself to do well in school and graduate was brought to their home. By the time she entered junior high and House of Teens, she knew she could graduate from high school and get into college without question. She also felt that with the homework help, supportive peers, and adult role models cheering her on, she was able to focus and stay on track to graduate high school with an Associate’s Degree and start her freshman year at Schreiner University this fall! Not only was her involvement in ¡Vamos Ya! impactful on her academic success, but also on her development as a healthy, confident, young woman. The different activities and trips that she has done with the program have helped her discover new interests and get over her fears. On the mission trips with House of Teens each summer, Meredith discovered her love for helping people and community service. She also worked as a counselor for Peace Camp. Through this experience, she discovered that she wants to be a teacher. She is on track at Schreiner to get her teaching certificate and graduate with her Bachelor’s Degree! Meredith contributes her holistic growth to the support and relationships she built through ¡Vamos Ya!