Staff accountant, Juan Maciel, is a mentor at De La Salle Academy (DLSA) in Concord. DLSA is a middle school for boys from low-income families. Their mission is to provide effective education, for grades 5 through 8, to promising boys in the greater Concord area. Recognizing each student’s unique gifts, challenges and needs, the school creates a community of learning based on religious academic programs and informed by the Catholic, Lasallian charism of the De La Salle Christian Brothers.
Juan has been mentoring 7th grader, Ian for two years.“It has been a pleasure to see his personal and academic growth.” He works with him both formally and informally at least once a month. To Juan, DLSA means educational equality. Equality is essential to breaking the cycle of poverty within communities. He believes that DLSA does its part by providing an engaging curriculum, inviting community and sense of brotherhood for students. One of his favorite activities as a mentor comes at the end of the grading periods where students share grades with mentors, providing them the ability to celebrate their accomplishments and set goals for the following grading period.
In the past two years, Juan has witnessed Ian set academic goals for himself by creating a list of study habits he would like to develop.“It’s exciting to see the pride Ian has in his educational growth when he perseveres and achieves his desired results.” He also enjoys playing games such as relay races with Ian, his classmates and other mentors. The students not only cheer for their own team, but for their peers’ teams. The high-fives, claps and words of encouragement between them demonstrates the brotherhood fostered by De La Salle Academy.