Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Student Spotlight: Josue Roque

Salazar Elementary seventh-grader Josue Roque has been with our program for just a couple months but he has already distinguished himself by his respectful demeanor and perfect attendance. Upon joining the program, he has met with his mentor, Rajul Shah, every single week, bringing homework and working productively each and every time. Lately they’ve been working on a debate project and studying for his constitution test, which he must pass to graduate. Though he acknowledges that he will have to study a lot more, he’s been feeling much more confident recently after working through it with Rajul. Speaking about his mentor, Josue states “I think he’s helped me a lot, he’s a great mentor and he makes sure that everything he does, I’m sure about. He doesn’t just give me the answers, he makes sure that I get everything and don’t miss anything.”

Josue is a very well-rounded student. Though his favorite class at school is language arts and social studies, mainly because he likes his teacher’s style of relating to the students, his real passions lie in math and science. In fact, Josue was selected by his math and science teachers as one of 3 7th graders in the entire school that will have the opportunity to attend a 2 week long math and science summer camp at Northern Illinois University. There, they will be working on experiments in real research laboratories at NIU, which he is very excited about.

When he’s not studying, Josue enjoys playing football and soccer in his neighborhood park down in Little Village, which he plans to do a lot of this summer. He also plans to help out at his school to see if they need his help cleaning or with odds and ends this summer. However, his highlight of the year is always when his family travels down to Ciudad Juarez on the US-Mexico border to visit his extended family who still live in Mexico. After his 8th grade year, he hopes to attend either Whitney Young, or Cristo Rey high schools. He’s particularly interested in Cristo Rey because there, he believes he will “learn how to be responsible, get jobs at real companies and work off the tuition”, through their innovative Corporate Internship Program. This program allows low-income students to earn 65% of the cost of their education by working five full days each month in entry-level positions at corporations in downtown Chicago such as Deloitte & Touche, JP Morgan Chase and Loyola University Health System. Even as a seventh-grader, it’s clear that Josue is thinking about his future in a very real and engaged way. We’re looking forward to working with him and Rajul to help his dreams become a reality. Congratulations Josue!

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