In 2006, Grace was three and starting in the PUENTE Preschool Program. From the first day, “I felt right at home,” says Grace who grew up with a single parent in Boyle Heights.
While mom worked to provide for her family, Grace formed strong bonds with her preschool teachers. At PUENTE, she benefited from a safe space to learn, play, and make friends. Grace especially cherished the opportunities to take ballet folklórico lessons, learn how to paint and draw, and even participate in a scarecrow decorating contest.
“Little did I know this was the beginning of something that was going to shape my future.”
When junior year in high school rolled around and Grace needed support to navigate the college admissions process, PUENTE was there to support Grace once again.
For Grace, the PUENTE College and Career Program was instrumental in helping her prepare college applications – and receive admission to UC Berkeley. Now a first-generation college student at her dream school, Grace continues to be supported through PUENTE’s college success services.
On track to graduate in 2025, Grace has a 3.5 GPA and hopes to pursue a career in college counseling.
Incredibly, her life came full circle this past summer when Grace took a teacher’s aide internship at PUENTE – the same school she once attended as a student.
This upcoming holiday season, a gift to PUENTE means a lifetime of opportunity for students like Grace.
Help transform futures today at puente.org/donate