Hello World, One Good Suit 2.0 is live!
This section is where you can follow my current journey. My goals are to write about my experiences in the community, mentoring, life as a budding young professional, and a range of other topics. So what am I up to now? Well….
So what am I up to now? Well….
I graduated from my dream school Northeastern University!
I would like to thank my family, my loving girlfriend , my mentors and mentees, friends, and the educators that made this possible.
Like many of my fellow college graduates. I am currently planning out my future. My goal is to attend Law School, but first, I would like to take a couple of gap years to gain additional professional experience. However, before I join the workforce, I would like to focus on giving back to my community.
Currently I am focused on giving back to one of my mentors Linda Saris, the executive director of LEAP For Education (Formerly known as Salem Cyberspace) who helped me to turn things around. In my Story section, I have not had a chance to talk about Linda’s impact but I can assure you that I will! Linda was instrumental in starting up and growing LEAP for Education, which was founded in 2002 as part of North Shore Community Action Programs, Inc. Prior to LEAP, Linda held several senior management positions in the private sector. Linda, left the private sector because she wanted an opportunity to do what she was really passionate about, which was to help young people achieve their academic potential
LEAP’s mission is to help low-income and first-generation college students succeed in, high school and graduate from college. LEAP For Education offered me different services that changed my life nd helped me deal with the trauma of my childhood. As I progressed through the program I learned the importance of giving back, and advocating for those whose voices were not being heard.
In the commonwealth of Massachusetts, there remain countless youth that have a need for the essential services provided by organizations such as LEAP . These services supplement their education, prevent them from joining gangs, involve them in the community, develop them as leaders and professionals, and allow them to participate in recreational activities in a safe environment.
This organization and Linda played a huge role in my growth and turning me into the young man that I am today. However, when LEAP began to lose major sources of state funding and had to decide between offering summer programming or cutting staff I felt compelled to take action. I had always told myself that when the time came that I would give back to Linda and LEAP because of all they had done for my family. All three of my mother’s sons have attended college and two of us have graduated. My older brother Miguel graduated from Monserrat College of Art in 2013, and I graduated from Northeastern. My youngest brother Figie is currently enrolled at Salem State University and is on track to graduate in 2018.
Linda specifically, was the person that helped me find my passion for policy and politics. It was during the 2008 election, that Linda and I sat and discussed the presidential nominating process. My favorite subject in school was American History, and I loved learning all about the different branches of our government. Linda was one of the first people to see my interests in civics and government and used it to motivate me to attend college. Linda was my adult sponsor for the Governor’s Statewide Youth Council (Thank you for driving me all over the Commonwealth!), she was instrumental in helping me decide which co-ops I should pursue, she introduced me to numerous public officials that have given me advice on a future career in public service, and she has given me the unconditional love and support that I needed to excel.
Linda believed in my potential and helped me reinvent myself as a student and person. Linda challenged me to perform to my academic potential at Salem State University if I wanted to transfer to my dream school, Northeastern University. On May 6th, I graduated Northeastern University, and it would not have been possible without the support of LEAP.
Last November, I recruited 20 alumni and young professionals who were committed to giving back to LEAP. Together, we established EMPOWER.
EMPOWER’s purpose is to raise money, to help LEAP members and alumni develop professionally, academically, and personally through quality programming and mentoring opportunities. One of the first events that we put together was a surprise fundraiser for Linda, in which we started a scholarship fund in her name. Our goal is to raise $10,000, and to select our first recipient(s) at LEAP’s 2017 Great Expectations event.
Linda Saris, through her diligence and vision, has helped so many students in the Northshore reach their academic potential. I could not think of a better way to honor Linda, than creating a scholarship fund that will help send high school students to college.