College of Education > About > Centers & Initiatives > Penedo Organization > Success Stories
Transformation is possible with the Penedo Program. Within the program, each participant is supported individually, with service adjusted to meet each young woman’s educational, emotional, and social needs. Emotional and academic support are ingrained in the atmosphere that Penedo cultivates.
Universally, middle school is a socially and emotionally challenging time for young women. Developing independence and a sense of self is a critical, yet difficult task; through the Penedo Program, participants are guided through this transition mindfully. Says one participant, “I was very emotional when I was in middle school and high school, so when I went to Penedo, I was able to talk to Nely about a lot of things. It was really nice to have that.”
Through the program’s a holistic approach to development, participants experience trips to theaters, amusement parks, and museums, but also undergo individual and group counseling free of judgment that allow the young women to process the serious adversities they face. “It was particularly hard for me, because my sister had gone to a rehab center,” shares one participant. “She had some mental health problems at the time. I didn’t want to bother my parents and there was nobody at school that I wanted to talk to. Having someone that I could [confide in] was really nice. I had a place to go to while stuff was happening back at home.”
Offering communal opportunities not just for tutoring, counseling and mentoring, but also for unwinding and socializing is a life-changing experience for participants. A former Penedo member recalled a Program trip to an amusement park as “Really fun, very memorable. I still remember that day. Me and the other girls were just being ourselves.”
One member explained how Penedo is helping her to achieve her future career goals. “Nely has offered to help me find an internship with Telemundo, the Hispanic TV network. Penedo has the ability to give me opportunities that would really benefit me. I've always really enjoyed that.” The Penedo Program’s members are connected to invaluable resources and networks in which participants can meet their own potential and achieve without limitation.