Española YMCA Teen Center Shines Brighter Than The Rest
The Española YMCA Teen Center (EYTC) was nominated as one of the country’s “Bright Spots in Hispanic Education” by U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich.
In a letter to the White House Initiative on Education Excellence for Hispanics Selection Committee, Heinrich wrote the EYTC serves as a safe and caring environment that promotes positive core values and supports youth through a variety of programs and encourages youth to seek out opportunities in higher education.
Established in 2007 through a partnership initially with the City of Española, the EYTC reaches out to a variety of youth through innovative and relevant programming such as robotics, welding, cooking and nutrition as well as student support services. The EYTC has a computer lab where students that do not have internet access at home can study and keep up with assignments. Youth also have access to tutoring and homework support. The EYTC is currently supported by the YMCA, the City of Española, Rio Arriba County, Santa Fe County, United Way of Northern new Mexico, MarTech Services, Cross Connection Inc as well as several funding agencies and community member donations.
Heinrich wrote that EYTC robotics program was particularly impressive. “Although it started in 2013, this team has already achieved amazing success and is furthering the academic and leadership skills of its team members.”
The EYTC’s Team Intergallactica recently won third place in the Aerial category at the 2015 RoboRAVE International Competition.
“I am so excited and proud of my staff and our teens here,” said EYTC director Ben Sandoval. “It is great to see our efforts and the efforts of our kids recognized by Sen. Heinrich.”
Heinrich concluded his nomination by writing, “Between the robotics team, educational support and community engagement, I could not be more impressed by the Center and their impact in the community.”
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics was established in 1990 to address educational disparities in Hispanic communities.