Success Stories

Alejandra - Southern California

Author: BHGH Web Admin/Monday, February 17, 2014/Categories: National Success Stories

Alejandra - Southern California

ALEJANDRA, one of our Southern California scholars, is one of our top scholar athletes. Alejandra came to Boys Hope Girls Hope as a sixth-grader through a cooperating program called Project Hope, which recommends academically-promising children to Boys Hope Girls Hope. The family, recent immigrants from Guatemala, was in dire straits. Their living situation was precarious—finances were always a serious concern.

When Alejandra came to Boys Hope Girls Hope as a sixth-grader, she discovered not only a safe and secure home and a support system of people dedicated to helping her succeed. She also discovered rugby.

“I used to play football with my brothers, and I enjoyed it,” she says. “One of our residential counselors found out about it and thought maybe rugby would be something I’d like, and she got me into it.”

Alejandra joined the Fullerton Lady Lions, and fell in love with the sport. She joined a team with a winning tradition, as well. Last year, the Lady Lions were the number one girls’ rugby team in California, and were third in the nation. “I’m exhausted when I get home from practice,” she says. “It’s great being part of a team. I’ve met a lot of girls from all different schools and all different places. There’s a real family feel there.”

It’s not only on the rugby field where Alejandra excels, or where her competitive spirit comes out. She’s also on the Speech and Debate team, and her academic career has blossomed, too.

“She’s one of the most enthusiastic kids we have,” says staff. “She’s always reading—literally ten books a week. And she’s always trying to improve her grades, always seeking out help and trying to learn new things. Rugby has been great for her—it helps her work out her frustrations and clears her mind.”

She’s already researching which east coast colleges offer athletic scholarships to female rugby players.


 

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My name is Laura.  I am a Junior at Regis Jesuit High School.  I have been at Boys Hope Girls Hope for almost a year now.  Before coming to BHGH I had a very unstable home and attended many different schools. Even though life was hard, I knew all along that I had potential to reach success.  The decision to come to BHGH was difficult.  I had to leave family and friends behind.  But I knew that it was the right choice, given the high expectations that I have for myself. 

This program provides me with wonderful tools and opportunities. My tutors are my life savers! They are here to help me with my weakest subjects and they do a great job helping me understand the material. I have a wonderful mentor, Concetta, who is a fabulous cook and great at giving advice. She’s like my best friend and I love spending time with her.

Boys Hope Girls Hope has given me the opportunity to participate in several community service projects.  I love going to Bessie’s Hope, which, for all of those who haven’t heard of this place, is a retirement home. When we go, we get to interact with the elderly who live there. We get the opportunity to make their day, and to make their stay more pleasant. We’re there to make them feel loved and cared for. I became very close with a lady named Feliz Ann.  She was the one that made me look forward to going there.

Recently I have learned to caddie at the Colorado Golf Club and I love it! I get to work out in the sun and I’ve had the opportunity to meet great people. I really enjoy caddying. I’m getting a tan, I’m getting in shape, and I’m making money all at the same time. It can’t get any better than this!

In addition to community service and work, I’ve also had the chance to experience new activities such as sailing and rock climbing.  These activities have encouraged me to take risks.  I used to be afraid of what’s hidden beneath the water…. and there I was, on a boat, in Cherry Creek Reservoir, waiting for the wind to take me somewhere!  And when I went rock climbing, I had to climb to the very top and then they told me to let go!   I had to trust the equipment and people to get me down safely.   I was afraid of what was going to happen once I let go, but I knew I had to do it.  There will be many times in my future when I’ll have to take risks to get to where I want to be.

So…I have several life goals. First, I hope to finish high school at Regis Jesuit with outstanding grades. I hope to get much more involved with sports and after school activities. After I accomplish this, I hope to go off to a college that fits me and that I will love.  There, I will pursue a career in the medical field. It will be a long journey with ups and downs but I know that Boys Hope Girls Hope will help me reach my goals.  

On behalf of all the Boys Hope Girls Hope scholars, I thank you for providing us this opportunity.