Estudiantes Unidos mentor junior high school students


Yaritza Lopez

JUNIOR HIGH MENTORS: Estudiantes Unidos pose for a picture after an informational meeting held by teachers Ricardo Castro, Ioanna LoDestro, Julian Barraza and Samantha Calderon.

Yaritza Lopez, Sectional Editor

Estudiantes Unidos is not just any club; it’s a large group with junior high students and high school students. This is the second year they are meeting. Big brothers and big sisters help younger students, along with staff members who organize the group.

“Estudiantes Unidos is a service learning club that mentors Grove Junior High students and serves the community through volunteer work that began in November of this year,” ELL and Spanish teacher Ricardo Castro said. “I really want to thank Ruby Aleman for helping organize this last year. It was an epiphany that came as Ruby and I discussed how to do social reform within our community.”

“This year we are moving forward with the help of Mr. Bush, Miss Calderon, Mrs. Gonzalez, Mrs. Lodestro and many others from Grove Junior High.” Castro said.

This year, Estudiantes Unidos plans on doing service projects during Christmas and visiting Grove Junior High to kickoff the continuation of the program. They have a lot of other fun events and leadership activities that will be run by student leaders as they continue to prepare for next year’s service projects. Students like senior Alonzo Garcia were leaders last year, and they really enjoyed helping young students.

“Last year we started off as a new program; we went to speak to the junior high kids of our experience in general,” Garcia said.

They talk to them about high school activities that they should consider when it comes to arriving freshman year.

”We also talked about how it’s always good to have somebody to go to whenever you need any help, just like a mentor type of thing. I was one of Castro’s leaders. I was among those who helped them organize the group,” Garcia said.

They decided to go and specifically speak to each grade. Aleman was one of their leaders among other students. The junior high students came here and Estudiantes Unidos went to Grove. Every two weeks they had one on one conversations with students, and they told them about problems they had.

“Being a big brother, I felt good; I felt that I was doing a good thing helping somebody who was troubled, but I’m glad I was able to help him out by just being there for him, listening to his problems.” Garcia said.

Junior Milton García said, “Mr. Castro inspired me to join Estudiantes Unidos because he knew that I had experience speaking to others, especially with kids who had arrived from other countries.”

Castro wanted him to give the kids advice on what to do and how to get involved in school.

“We did many activities, like go to the Mexican museum that is located in Chicago, we also went to Univision. I really liked coexisting with other people and meeting new friends,” Garcia said.