Each month, CAP shines a spotlight on someone that is making a difference in the afterschool and summertime world! Nominees demonstrate outstanding work in developing, supporting, and promoting meaningful high-quality out-of-school time programs to benefit children, youth, and families across Colorado.
Congratulations to CAP’s January 2023 OST Champion, Edgar Corona-Enriquez! Edgar is currently serving as an After-School Program Manager with Riverside Educational Center (REC) and works at the Grand Junction High School site. Edgar is a first-generation college student working on a double major in biochemistry and Spanish translation.
He was nominated by Mykan White, REC Development and Communications Specialist, who sent in a moving tribute:
“ At a recent event, a group of REC high-school students asked if they could have some time at the microphone to publicly thank Edgar Corona-Enriquez. In an unscripted moment in front of more than 350 attendees, these students shared powerful tributes to their revered mentor and educator. They were moved beyond words as they thanked Edgar for his time, dedication, and effort.
One explained how Edgar had helped her create a resume for her first-ever job. Another shared, “If it weren’t for REC and Edgar, I wouldn’t graduate next year.” And a third summed it up, saying, “You do everything for us.” This was a welcome opportunity for our community to hear more about a generous and talented after-school educator who is more often found behind the scenes, helping students grow and thrive.
Starting in fifth grade, Edgar himself was a REC student. Edgar credits the organization’s programming with helping him overcome struggles in reading and math. ‘All I needed was support,” he said. ‘The biggest thing someone can do is fuel someone’s dream. I think REC helped me realize my American dream of getting an education.‘
Edgar’s responsibilities to REC students at GJHS focus on helping them discover their potential and forge a path for realizing their dreams now and into adulthood. Though they may often face barriers to success, REC seniors have had a 100% graduation rate since Edgar began leading the program in August 2020. This accomplishment, along with students’ enthusiasm, is a testament to Edgar’s talent for balancing the structure of REC programming and the accountability expected of students with the motivation and reward that help them move beyond challenges and have fun.
Equally importantly, Edgar is a caring and trusted presence in kids’ lives. He leads a team of eight tutoring staff in creating a safe space where students can get help with school work and also form friendships and a community. Through daily opportunities to connect, try new things, and build camaraderie with peers and REC staff, Edgar’s students gain confidence while expanding their vision of themselves.
‘So many underserved students, they know of that American dream, they have that vision but don’t know how to get there,” he said. ‘I think REC is a great way to start – and to help others. People did this for me, so if I can do it for another kid, great!’
As he considers his vision for his own future, Edgar knows that it will be spent in service to others. For now, we are very grateful that he is choosing to share his time and talent at REC.– Mykan White, Development and Communications Specialist, Riverside Educational Center
REC is a nonprofit organization providing Mesa County, Colorado, students with high-quality academic and extracurricular experiences during out-of-school time, fostering individual growth and creating community within a safe, diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. Click here to learn more about REC.
Congratulations, Edgar! If you know of a candidate worthy of being honored as one of CAP’s OST Champions, nominate today! Click here for the nomination form.