Leadership Grow Testimonial from a Mom

It's hard to put into words the impact our Leadership Grow program has on our students. When Executive Director Noel Martinez received this note from a mom of a 2019 graduate, it truly filled our hearts. We wanted to share it with all of you. 


I wanted to introduce myself to you. I am Catarina's mom, April. I never got the opportunity to speak with you at any of the events. Much like my daughter, we sort of sit back and let others get their time with the "head honcho".

However, I can not tell you enough, how much this program has made a difference in her life.

Catarina is a very Intelligent young lady and always has been. But she was missing many other pieces that make someone a leader and successful. She was so afraid to speak in front of others. SGA forced her to overcome that fear. Leadership Grow has truly given her another unique element. I have so often tried to teach her to learn from my successes and my mistakes. I have told her how important people connections are. But for the first time, through this program, I think she can really see that.

I tell her she does not have to be the Leader like Max who is front and center like a shining star, who by the way is one of her best friends and we love him dearly, but she can be a leader just as loud with her convictions and voice by spreading her message through her connections and written word and opportunities to speak. However she still has to network and build relationships. This has been tough for her. She inherited my wonderful "RBF". But for the first time from this program she really understood the importance of personal connections in the community. 

To see your child who has the 1550 SAT score and 5.0 GPA,  then gain the SGA piece of being able to speak and then finally begin to grasp the meaning of what friendships and connections really mean in life, something you never quite thought you would get through, is amazing. It's like seeing all the pieces of the puzzle come together. (Now if I can just get her to some fashion sense, she would be complete!) Sure, she always new how to work on a team. But you created something more than that. I can not thank you enough. She would often come home from her days with you and tell me from start to finish everything that occurred. But her emphasis was more on the people she met rather than the places she went. The adults you brought into her life were deeply impacting, and she also talked about how amazing and beautiful your daughter was inside and out. I completely related to you tearing up at that ceremony. I do it every single day at the thought of her leaving me in a year and a half. 

I just wanted to say how truly grateful and thankful I am for the opportunity you gave her that I know has changed her for the rest of her life. Sometimes it is the ones you least expect to be impacted who have gained the most.