Poverty is the single greatest threat to a child’s well-being. Children living in moderate to extreme poverty face an increased risk of poor health and nutrition, low academic achievement, exposure to violence, abuse, and homelessness, according to The 2017 State of Child in Bridgeport Report.
The report also states that growing up in poverty exposes children to higher levels of stress with a high potential to manifest into psychological problems later in life. For children and families in an urban setting like Bridgeport, the conditions of poverty can be overwhelming and debilitating.
We want to introduce you to Reyes Huerta, an amazing young man with a bright future. Reyes is an Alumni of our High School Mentoring Program and a Scholar in our College Scholarship Program. Reyes is the first in his family to attend college, thanks to generous monthly donors, scholarship sponsors, and partners who make it possible for talented students like Reyes to receive free high level academic support and mentoring from our experienced staff.
Born in Mexico, Reyes and his family immigrated to the United States when he was 10 months. His mom works as a House Cleaner and his dad works as a year-round Landscaper. As you can imagine, life has not been easy for Reyes.
“One of the struggles my family has to go through is, financially, we are not that great. We don’t have health insurance for medical bills or bills in general, such as the electric and housing bills, so it’s really hard,” Reyes shared with us in this video. “And for college, my parents and I talked about how tuition was so expensive and we worried about how we were going to pay for it.”
This past September, Reyes began his college studies at Fairfield University, thanks to the Bridgeport Tuition Grant, a full-tuition scholarship the college awards to high achieving low-income students in Bridgeport, Connecticut, whose family make an annual income of less than $50,000.
“I will be majoring in Mechanical Engineering at Fairfield University and with the degree, I will be able to get a job as a Materials Engineer,” said Reyes. “Since I was very little, I have been fascinated with engineering, how to solve problems, and all the little facts of Science and Math.”
As a student in our high school mentoring program, Reyes participated in our free SAT Prep class his junior year and the Foundation staff helped him apply to colleges and for financial aid his senior year. This past June, Reyes received our $2,000 scholarship (students receive $500 per year for 4 years) for successfully completing all stages of the mentoring program.
“I am so inspired by Reyes and his story. Despite all the challenges this young man has been through, he works hard to better himself and wants to be a role model for his siblings,” said Daniel Trust, President and CEO of Daniel Trust Foundation. “Honestly, it’s stories like these that keep me motivated and give me the energy to continue doing this important hard work.”
Do you know a high school junior or someone who works with low-income students who can benefit from our High School Mentoring Program? If so, please share with them that we are recruiting (click here for details) high achieving low-income juniors in Bridgeport, Connecticut and New York City.