At Children’s Aid, we guide our youth in their journey towards independence by teaching them the skills and knowledge necessary to function in the adult world through quality work experience.
Manny Torres, 22, was a participant at two Children’s Aid after-school programs in Washington Heights: P.S.5 and P.S. 152.
Eager to work at the age of 15, Manny participated in our Summer Youth Employment Program, where he held an assistant facilitator position at P.S.152, the very same school he attended as a child.
Throughout his career and growth at Children’s Aid, Manny has attended trainings like classroom management and Mind in the Making—which helps kids apply life skills—that have furthered his professional development.
Now Manny is the aquatics director and physical education specialist at P.S 152 in Washington Heights, and he feels a strong sense of accomplishment. And like many of our staff, he looks back to the environment that supported him. “I want to be able to give back to the community,” he said. “I want to show the kids what is right, and inspire them do better for themselves.”
Manny is a full-time student expected to graduate in the fall of 2016 from Borough of Manhattan Community College. After graduation, he plans to attend Lehman College where he will pursue his dreams of becoming a physical education teacher.
“Through working for Children’s Aid, I’ve gained many skills that I will use in the future,” said Manny. “The skills like the ones I learned as a kid in our programs are the ones I still use today.”
Each summer a number of exceptional young people get involved with our summer work programs. Our summer interns and program staff add a wealth of value to Children’s Aid that make our summers successful. We are particularly excited when former and current program participants revisit their childhood summers to build on their experiences and help current participants enrich their own. For the remainder of the summer, we will profile a current or former Children’s Aid summer program participant who is also working with Children’s Aid, placing them further along the pathway to career readiness and adult independence.