Pursuing the American Dream Through Education

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Leaving her loved ones back home in the Dominican Republic, Betty Sanchez arrived in New York City four years ago in pursuit of a better education so that she may one day provide for her mother back home. She joined The Children’s Aid Society first by attending ESL classes offered by the Adult Program at the Salomé Ureña de Henríquez Campus. She then provided worked organizing supplies for its GED program and with students in the after-school program. 

When an opportunity arose to attend college courses at Hostos Community College through the Center for After-School Excellence at The After School Corporation (TASC), Miguel Balbuena, the Assistant Commuity School Director at Salomé Ureña de Henríquez Campus, encouraged Betty to take the next step in accomplishing her educational and personal goal. The TASC program funded 12 college credits and also helped Betty earn a professional certification in after-school. Betty was promoted and received a raise. “Due to the promotion,” she says proudly, “I was able to get my own apartment with my sister.” She is now about to earn her Associate’s degree and plans to continue her studies in the field of Early Childhood Education.

Betty Sanchez shares a firm understanding of the importance of education to her own independence and personal success, much like Salomé Ureña de Henríquez (1850-1897). De Henríquez was a revered Dominican poet, feminist and educator who founded the first school for girls in the Dominican Republic in 1881. Congratulations to Betty!

Image via http://www.afterschoolpathfinder.org/betty-sanchez