Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Student Spotlight: Yolanda Hyles

This week Yolanda Hyles will be gracing the page of our Student Spotlight in honor of her recent academic accomplishments and all the hard work she continues to put into her studies. At present, Yolanda, a sophomore at Manley Career Academy, is 8th out of 327 students in her class! This means that Yolanda is one of the top 10 most accomplished sophomores at Manley! Congrats!

To achieve such excellent grades, Yolanda has been hard at work with her mentor, Molly Shah, working on everything from U.S. History to her graphic design class. Her biggest struggle is Chemistry, where Molly is trying to push her to earn the As that they both know she can get. Through working together over the past 2 years both inside our center and out Molly and Yolanda have developed a strong and supportive relationship. In Yolanda’s own words: “Molly’s stayed with me, made me stay focused on homework…she’s the reason why I’m in the top 10 instead of just playin’ around”.

Yolanda and Molly have met inside and outside of our center, building a well balanced relationship that is a mix of work and play. For instance, they have gone bowling together, eaten dinner at restaurants like Ed Debevic’s and Galleria Marchetti. For Yolanda, what originally drew her to Cabrini Connections is the fact that it’s fun! She likes the fact that we “go a lot of places.” Her favorite outing is our yearly summer trip to Six Flags for students with over 80% attendance the prior year. She’s also enjoyed attending some of our college trips, where we arrange private tours of colleges and universities to give the students the opportunity to learn first-hand about the campus, the classes and the student life of schools like DePaul, Chicago State, Westwood and Illinois Institute of Technology.

Although she’s only a sophomore, Yolanda is already thinking about her future. In the coming years, she hopes to attend Clark-Atlanta University, where she will study business. After that she’s thinking she will go on to cosmetology school and open her own hair and nail salon. Luckily, Yolanda has been working hard to keep her grades up and, if she stays on track, should be on track to follow her dreams!

The great thing is that now she’s not alone. In fact, in a recent interview for a mentor appreciation video, Yolanda, slightly nervous, but still confident explained: “Molly is my tutor. She’s my best friend. She’s like the best friend I ever had. She knows what to say when I’m up and when I’m down.” With friends like Molly, Yolanda can’t be stopped. Congratulations and keep up the great work!

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