Nearly every day since moving to the United States, Yaret has dutifully listened to her mother’s encouraging words about working hard in school.
“She’s always told me to not rely on anyone and to step up to make good grades,” says Yaret, who is 18. “We came to this country to live a better life. I need to be here for my family and to be the first to go to college.”
Yaret’s family moved from Mexico to California when she was 6 years old. Four years later, she discovered her local Boys & Girls Club, where caring staff members helped her make new friends and explore the Club’s many youth development programs and activities. The Club also gave Yaret her first job as a teen staff member.
Now a high school senior, Yaret frequently spends afternoons at the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco’s College & Career Center (created by The Hartford) taking SAT prep classes and working one-on-one with a mentor to complete scholarship and college applications.
“I know I won’t get that opportunity and support somewhere else,” says Yaret. “They’ve helped me see that my goal is to get to college.”
Yaret plans to major in biology before applying to a veterinarian school, continuing to work with Club mentors and her mother to achieve her goals. She also wants to empower girls to strive for academic and career success. “Follow your dreams no matter how crazy they might seem,” she says. “You can make them happen.”
Watch this video to learn more about Yaret’s journey.