Cristobal is from Huehuetenango in Guatemala and he has only been in the United Stated States for three years. He graduated last month from Jupiter High School.
His first year was hard, he said, because he couldn’t figure out how to access homework assignments. Now that he has earned his high school diploma he hopes to study architecture.
Before he graduated, Cristobal participated in the Plazas Comunitarias program at Jupiter High School. A partnership between El Sol and the school, Plazas Comunitarias gave Cristobal and other Spanish-speaking students access to an alternative diploma track and a community of peers.
We are very proud of Cristobal and his fellow Plazas Comunitarias participants at Jupiter High School.
Katie Willison, the program facilitator, said she is excited about continuing to work with school administrators to target students who could benefit most from Plazas Comunitarias.
Having worked with some students since the fall of 2015, Katie said she has seen many make significant progress. At first they were too shy to participate in group discussions but now they are comfortable in their school because they know their teachers are there for them, she said.
Plazas Comunitarias participants at Jupiter High School meet weekly. The goal is to help them with Spanish literacy and other core skills so they can pass a high school equivalency exam. The certificates earned through the program are valid in Mexico and other Central American countries.
“I found it really rewarding,” Katie said, referring to her work with Plazas Comunitarias at Jupiter High School.