Our 2020 Senior Spotlight



Cristian Tamayo Calles
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Cristian participated in Al Éxito for two years and his favorite part was the opportunity to try new things and meet new people. He will attend Iowa Central Community College to become an electrician.

"Proud of your hard work! Always keep working hard to reach your goals and don’t give up!! Congratulations!" - Miriam Meinke

“Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey.”
—Michael Josephson

Waldina Villanueva
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Waldina was actively involved with Al Éxito for four years. "My favorite things were our meetings because of all the new things we learned." Waldina will attend DMACC to pursue Paralegal studies.

"So extremely proud of all your hard work that you have done through out these part three years! Graduating early is not easy but you made it look easy!! Proud of you and looking forward to see what the future holds for you! Congratulations!" - Miriam Meinke

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.”

—Anatole France


Des Moines

Roger Castillo
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Roger will graduate from Hoover High school and pursue actuarial science at Iowa State University. "Al Éxito has provided an environment where I can truly be myself.

|drēm|sēd|, Movimiento, PAPAYA,1 year 

"I have heard Roger's name for so many years. When he finally joined Al Exito's Papaya summer program, I felt cheated of the years to really get to know Roger. He was just as amazing as I was told, maybe even more. Roger is a quiet, strong leader, extremely thoughtful and wise. Students look up to Roger for his leadership. What makes him special, is that he is so humble about his accomplishments and knowledge. I am so grateful that Roger participated in Al Exito and |drem|sed| this year. He has made an important mark on our programs. I wish him the very best in the future. Please know that you will always have a home with Al Exito." - Dawn Martinez Oropeza

Caroly Coronado-Vargas
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Caroly will graduate from East High School and pursue computer science at Iowa State University. "Al Éxito has allowed me to have a voice within our community. Had it not been for Al Éxito I wouldn't have the amazing opportunities I do now."

|drēm|sēd| CEO, Movimiento Youth Leader, 6 years

"Ms. Caroly Coronado-Vargas has been a leader in Al Exito since middle school when she started our program. One of the most incredible things about Caroly is that she always wants to share the lead. She is 100% capable of doing it herself, but she looks for opportunities to share with her peers. She challenges me and other leaders to provide opportunities and training for her peers to build their leadership capacity. You are a rare individual with an amazing future ahead of you. Thank you Caroly for everything. I am going to miss your vision and leadership at |drem|sed|. All my best! " - Dawn Martinez Oropeza

Vanessa Cruz-Escobar
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Vanessa will graduate from Lincoln High School and will pursue actuarial science at Iowa State University. "Al Éxito opened my eyes to my potential."

Movimiento, PAPAYA,1 year

"Thank you, Vanessa, for joining Al Exito this past year. It was an honor to get to know you through our programs. I wish you all the very best in the future. Know that Al Exito is a place you always can return for support or resources. Please stay in touch with us and let us know how you are doing!" - Dawn Martinez Oropeza

Byron Senior.PNG

"Byron, we are so lucky that you joined Al Exito this past year. It has been a pleasure to get to know you and watch you develop at Movimiento. It is heartbreaking that the year was cut short and we could not continue to celebrate your accomplishments during high school. Thank you for joining Al Exito this year. I hope you continue to contact Al Exito, let us know how you are doing. Wishing you the very best in your bright future!" - Dawn Martinez Oropeza

Janida Magallanes.jpeg

"Janida, I am super proud of all you have accomplished these last few years. It is a blessing to watch you grow and mature since middle school. I am so grateful that you have continued your participation with Al Exito and |drem|sed|. The times I was able to share with you, listening to poetry and during |drem|sed| are times that I will always treasure. You know that no matter what, Al Exito, I will be here for you, to help with anything you might need and to celebrate your successes! Wishing you the very best and brightest future!"- Dawn Martinez Oropeza 


Paco Pena, this past year you have been such a great asset to Al Exito. It was amazing to watch you grow as an activist and as a leader. Sharing the Dolores Huerta program with you will always be a special memory. To watch you develop your voice as a leader and advocate is the best example for all Al Exito students. The future is bright for you, with the ever-present smile, openness to learn, grow, and succeed, combined with a hard working attitude. Thank you for joining our programs!" - Dawn Martinez Oropeza

Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 10.49.51 AM.pn

"Natalia, you are such an integral part of our programs, especially |drem|sed|. I thank you for being such a talented asset to |drem|sed|, really building the operations of the business. Thank you for always "freaking me out", scaring me and making me laugh. The trip to the border, being in the van with you for SO many hours, was a true blessing- believe it or not. I look forward to watching you grow as a photographer and developing your career. I know you have the brightest future ahead. Know that we are always here for you, in whatever you may need, or want to celebrate. You will always be one of the founders of |drem|sed|~ thank you!" - Dawn Martinez Oropeza

Senior Photo For Scholarship (Juan Carlo

"Juan Carlos Oropeza, you have been with me since the very beginning of my time with Al Exito. I thank you for the countless hours you sacrificed to help me out in the evenings and weekends of programs and events. It is not easy always being with your mother, but I will cherish each moment we have had together these past years when you are at ISU. Thank you for being independent, a leader, and a model Al Exito, |drem|sed| student. I love you more than you even know. Super proud of the man you have become!" - Dawn Martinez Oropeza

Pablo senior.jpeg

"Pablo always came to Al Exito since middle school with a big hug, smile, and open heart. We have been blessed to have his great spirit and leadership in our programs throughout these past seven years. It has always been a joy to have Pablo join the program, event, or college visit. It is phenomenal that you were often juggling Science Bound's rigorous requirements, advanced classes, and sports, but you always were happy, relaxed, and engaged- extremely rare. You brought a lot of love to Al Exito and we thank you for that. Please stay in contact with us in the future- we are always here for you- your Al Exito family!" - Dawn Martinez Oropeza


"We are so lucky that you found your way back to our program this past year. You are a hard-working, intelligent young lady with a very bright future ahead of you. I am grateful for the partnership with Science Bound to continue to watch your growth as a scholar at ISU. Know that Al Exito will always be here for you if you need support, resources, or want to give back to the next generation of Latinx students." - Dawn Martinez Oropeza


"Osman, I took a picture of you this summer at Papaya with a red cap flowing in the wind of a fan. That is how I will always picture you, chest out, head held high, eyes looking toward the future and cape flying. You are like a superhero and wise beyond your years. I feel very fortunate that you joined Al Exito, especially |drem|sed| this past year. You have an amazing mind for business, accounting, and marketing. It makes it that much more special that you excel in STEM as well. I can't see where you will be in the next four years and beyond. Just remember we will be here cheering you on!" - Dawn Martinez Oropeza

Aline Senior.jpeg

"Aline has been a shining star in Al Exito since middle school. Alway smiling, bright, and happy. With a busy performance schedule during high school, it would brighten program when you were able to join us. We knew that you were building your artistic career and celebrate your accomplishments. We look forward to watching your star shine bright in the coming years. Please let us know where you are and what you are doing. Come back and share your musical career with the next generation of Latinx students. We will always be here cheering you on!" - Dawn Martinez Oropeza

Akpobari Godpower.jpg

"Akpobari in one year made a huge impact on Al Exito. His reputation preceded his attendance to the program. His name, Godpower, always projects strength and spirit. All that came before him, provided to be a blessing to our program. He was a student that was dependable, extremely competent- especially in technology, and creative. It is disappointing that you were not able to complete the tasks you started with |drem|sed| and to say finish the community partnership. Know that the work you did accomplish was impressive and we are grateful for your talents and leadership! - Dawn Martinez Oropeza 



Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 12.02.51 AM.pn

"Maria Andrade it was wonderful seeing you grow throughout the past 4 years. Thank you for always willing to volunteer and try new things, best of luck at Kirkwood. I will miss you!" - Juanita Zavala

Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 11.59.28 PM.pn

“Nataly thank you for volunteering and mentoring students. You have a gift for helping others and it was appreciated! I am excited for your journey in nursing; all your hard work is definitely paying off.” - Juanita Zavala


“Abril, I am so proud of you and I want to thank you for always volunteering to help out. You have a big heart and I know you will do great at IHCC!” - Juanita Zavala

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 12.13.41 AM.pn
Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 12.04.44 AM.pn

 "Dani you are an inspiration to many students. I remember your freshman year you were so shy and didn't even want to come into the Welcome Center! Well I am glad you did and I am so happy to see how much you have grown these last 4 years. I loved seeing all your drawings and paintings; you are a wonderful artist! Estoy orgullosa de ti Daniela y se que vas a cumplir tus metas porque asi eres; siempre has luchado y logrado lo que te propones."- Juanita Zavala


"It has been a pleasure to have Guadalupe Ramirez in Al Exito. Thank you for always volunteering in the community and being a mentor these past 4 years. The kids will be lucky to have you as a future teacher! Best of luck in your future endeavors." - Juanita Zavala



Yanira Araiza.jpg
Monse Nunez Senior.jpeg
Julie Matta.jpg

"Congratulations Yanira!  Thank you for always helping me with your peers, and for volunteering every time I needed you to.  You’re a great leader.  I wish you the best in your future!" - Nadia Jimenez


"Congratulations Tony!  I wish you the best.  Good luck in the future." - Nadia Jimenez


"Congratulations Monse!  Thank you for always helping me with your peers, and for volunteering every time I needed you to.  You’re a great leader.  I wish you the best in your future!" - Nadia Jimenez


"Congratulations Fernando!  I wish you the best.  Good luck in the future." - Nadia Jimenez


"Congratulations Julie!  I wish you the best.  Good luck in the future." - Nadia Jimenez


©2020 by Al Éxito. Proudly created with Wix.com

Call Us @ 515-480-0904 |  PO Box 93531, Des Moines, IA 50393

 dawn@alexitoiowa.org  |  info@alexitoiowa.org

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn