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News-Wishes of "Bon Voyage" go to Jesuit Volunteer Raya Abat

Desde La Base- Fall 2015

Raya

We love our Jesuit Volunteers! Every August, we greet a new JV who commits to one year of securing and coordinating much-needed volunteers for our IMPACTO Afterschool and Summer Academic Enrichment program. In the process, these JVs become members of the Proyecto Pastoral family.
This past year, Proyecto Pastoral was blessed to work with Raya Abat. Born and raised in Manhattan in New York City, Raya graduated from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia in 2014 and joined IMPACTO shortly afterward. And she has shared so much of herself with her unique blend of enthusiasm, determination, and serenity. Her year with IMPACTO commenced with the recruitment of mentors for the program’s high school mentorship program.

Raya says that one of the biggest highlights of this past year was helping to establish the Flying Eagles Nutrition and Fitness Class in the Underwings at IMPACTO afterschool program at Dolores Mission School. She states, “it was amazing getting to watch the students' growing interest in being healthy and active, and we all got to participate in a Firecracker Run in Chinatown that was incredibly fun!”

Raya also embraced a role she hadn’t anticipated taking on – that of interim academic case manager at Mendez High School while the regular academic case manager was on maternity leave. According to Raya, this position gave her an unexpected but wonderful opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with local high school students. “I was so proud and overjoyed when I attended their graduation,” she says, “and witnessed each of the senior students I worked with achieve their high school diploma!”

Next, Raya will venture back to the east coast and join iMentor NYC as a Program Coordinator. She is eager to begin her work at this school-based mentoring program that matches public high school students from low-income communities with college-educated mentors, adding “my experience this past year helping with the IMPACTO Mentoring Program definitely played a major role in this!”

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