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Ana's Story: "Thanks to the help of my YA! Mentor I am now the first in my family to attend college."

Over the years, YA! program had a number of students who are being raised by relatives. For some, a shifting of guardians has been an unfortunate part of their childhood, for others, this has come with an unexpected tragedy- something the country is seeing a rise of during COVID-19.

Ana, (name changed for privacy) was in the later camp. As a freshman in high school, the death of a her only custodial parent and additional family changes sent her spiraling. She grew close to a toxic friend group and her grades plummeted. As a junior, she could see that she wasn’t on the right path, and joined YA!. When she and her mentor didn’t seem to connect, Ana continued to be discouraged about her options for the future. YA! staff stepped in to re-match Ana with a mentor with whom she felt safe, and under this guidance and support, Ana began to believe in herself and her future. 

We have just celebrated Ana’s graduation from YA! and we have seen her blossom. She was able to repair her GPA in her senior year and receive both acceptances and scholarships from a number of colleges. Ana says of her current mentor, “I honestly don’t think I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for her … [She] is cheerful and loud and celebrates every little thing you do- it really pushes you to become that person you’ve dreamed of, and to keep going, no matter what obstacles get in the way.” 

Together with Ana’s guardian, they have mapped out plans that are aspirational and achievable. In the fall, Ana will be attending a two-year community college and then plans to transfer to a four-year college to get her bachelor's degree to become a social worker. She will be the first in her family to attend college. 

Please, help support CLUES. Invest in Latino Youth to be the leaders of tomorrow.​ 


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St. Paul, MN 55106

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