Our 2020 Senior Spotlight

 

Clarion-Goldfield-Dows

 
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Cristian Tamayo Calles
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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

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Waldina Villanueva
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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

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Roger Castillo
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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

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Caroly Coronado-Vargas
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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

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Vanessa Cruz-Escobar
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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

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Byron Giron-Ordoñez
 
 
 

Byron will graduate from Roosevelt High School and attend DMACC then transfer to Iowa State University. Byron said "my favorite memory of Al Exito is going to Iowa City for Latinx Youth Conference and my favorite thing gained from Al Éxito is that we can prosper in this world even with all the odds against us".

 
 
 
 

Movimiento DSM,1 year 

 
 

"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

 
 
 
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Janida Magallanes
 
 
 

Janida will graduate from North High School and attend Iowa State to pursue biology and pre-law. Janida favorite memories were during the Al Éxito overnight camps. 

 
 
 
 
 

Movimiento DSM, |drēm|sēd|, 3 years

 
 
 
 

"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 

 
 
 
 
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Paco Peña
 
 
 

Paco wil graduate from Lincoln High School and attend Iowa State University to pursue acturial science."PAPAYA gave me a community where I am understood to the deepest parts of my heart, and it was this sense of community that I began chasing and how I joined Al Exito Movimiento and |drēm|sēd|."

 
 
 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 
 
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Natalia Guerrero
 
 

Natalia will graduate from North High School and attend DMACC to pursue photography. "Al Éxito has helped me accomplish my goals and become more involved in my community."

 
 
 

|drēm|sēd| Operations Director, Movimiento, 3 years

 
 

"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

 
 
 
 
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Juan Carlos Oropeza
 
 
 

Juan Carlos will graduate from North High School and pursue Pre-Med Biology at Iowa State University. "Al Éxito has been a large part of my life. Al Éxito has given me the opportunities and skills needed to be involved in community activism."

 
 
 
 

|drēm|sēd| Creative Director, Movimiento DSM, 6 years

 
 
 

"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

 
 
 
 
 
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Pablo Rios
 
 
 

Pablo will graduate from East High School and attend Iowa State University to pursue Kineseoly and pre-med. Pablo plans to go to medical school to become a pediatrician. Pablo enjoyed Al Éxito because he got to meet new people and have new experiences!

 
 
 
 

Movimiento DSM, 4 years

 
 
 

"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

 
 
 
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Daisy Hernandez
 
 
 

Daisy will graduate from North High School and will attend Iowa State to study microbiology. "My favorite thing I gained would be the projects we'd do to get a better understanding of things like funding and discrimination. The lessons changed my perspective." 

 
 
 

|drēm|sēd| and Movimiento DSM, 3 years

 

"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

 
 
 
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Osman Ortiz-Rivera
 
 
 

Osman will graduate Roosevelt High School and attend Iowa State to pursue electrical engineering. Osman said, ""Being accustomed to a new culture is not a walk in the park. I had to learn English at a young age just to survive. But it wasn't until later when I realized that all the struggle was for a brighter future: I found my place in the world with Al Éxito." 

 
 
 
 
 

|drēm|sēd|, Movimiento, 3 years

 

"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

 
 
 
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Aline Moreno
 
 
 

Aline will graduate from North High School and at Columbia College of Chicago to study music. Aline says "My favorite would be when we went "camping" with other students from Al Exito my freshman year".

 
 
 

Movimiento, 2 years

 
 
 

"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

 
 
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Akpobari Godpower
 

Akpobari Godpower will graduate from North High School and attend Iowa State University to study software engineering. His favorite memory of Al Éxito was visiting the Figge Art Museum. He said, " I have gained a sense of community new friends and have developed skills useful for the real world."

 
 
 

|drēm|sēd|, 1 year

 

"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 

 

Ottumwa

 
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Maria Andrade
 
 
 

Maria will graduate from Ottumwa High School and will attend Kirkwood to pursue a career as a dental assistant. "My favorite memory of Al Éxito is the camps, could spend time with new people from other towns, and make new friends!"

 
 
 
 

Ottumwa Movimiento, 4 years

 
 

"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

 
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Nataly Jaimes
 
 
 

Nataly will graduate from Ottumwa High School and attend Indian Hills Community College and transfer to Grand View University to pursue Nursing. "My favorite memory would be the campus trips because not only did we meet new people but the way we connected with them in a few days."

 
 
 

Ottumwa Movimiento, 4 years

 
 

“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

 
 
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Abril Mendoza
 
 
 

Abril will graduate from Ottumwa High School and attend Indian Hills Community College and pursue a degree in Physical Therapy and possibly Sports Medicine. Her favorite memory with Al Éxito is visiting Iowa State. 

 
 
 

Movimiento, 3 years

 
 

“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

 
 
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Daniela Ramirez
 
 
 

Daniela will graduate from Ottumwa High School and will attend Indian Hills Community College for the first year to get an AA, then transfer to Central College or the University of Iowa to major in criminal justice or visual arts. Her favorite memory of Al Exito would have to be the Chicago trip.

 
 
 

 Movimiento Ottumwa, 4 years

 
 
 
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Guadalupe Ramirez - Patlan
 
 
 

Guadalupe will graduate from Ottumwa High and attend Indian Hills Community College to pursue a degree in secondary education. "Al Éxito helped empower me as an individual." 

 
 
 

 Movimiento Ottumwa, 4 years

 
 
 

 "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

 
 

Tama

 
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Yanira Araiza
 

Yanira is graduating from South Tama High School and attend Kirkwood to pursue a career as a physician assistant. "When I was the only one from Tama that attended a camp for over the weekend. Even though I had no idea who anyone was, I felt comfortable knowing that I was surrounded by students my age that we could relate to many things.

 
 
 

Tama Al Éxito, 6 years

 
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Monse Nuñez
 
 
 

Monse is graduating from South Tama High and will attend Kirkwood to study political science or nursing. "My favorite memory was when we made tacos to sell them at a football game."

 
 
 

Tama Al Éxito, 6 years

 
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Julie Matta
 
 
 

Julie is graduating from South Tama High and pursuing a degree in theater and theater education."We all had our mentors and we had a little graduation and we had food, presentations, and gifts. It was so beautiful to be displaying our culture."

 
 
 
 

Tama Al Éxito, 5 years

 

"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

 
 
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Tony Patlan
 
 
 

Tony is graduating from South Tama High School and will attend Kirkwood to pursue a postsecondary education. Tony loved meeting new people during Al Éxito and creating new memories. 

 
 
 

Tamal Al Éxito, 1 year

 
 
 

"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

 
 
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Fernando Lopez
 
 
 

Fernando is graduating from South Tama High School and will enter the workforce be

 
 
 

Tama Al Éxito, 1 year

 
 
 

"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