Meet Camila, a Kids Club Emerging Leader

Aug 13, 2015

At Casa, our three-year strategic direction is to: “Develop local leaders who are confident, united, motivated, and empowered.”  All of our programs serve that purpose, and Camila’s story is an example of how we see that strategic direction coming to life at Kids Club!

Camila entered Kids Club in first grade. Although her mother cared for her deeply and supported her as best as she could in school, when she first came she was about one year below her grade-level in reading, struggled with low self-confidence, and was about to fail her state exam in math for the first time. 

During her three years at Kids Club, Camila meticulously studied, pushed herself, and sought positions of leadership, and her confidence began to grow. For example, she served as a safety patrol at her school and consistently sought the well-being of younger students at Kids Club. A Kids Club volunteer emailed us with this observation:

“I love it that Camila suggested that [safety] patrols keep their belts on since so many preschoolers were sharing the playground [with Kids Club students] today. Great problem solving. Don’t know if you’re aware, but she was given a very responsible patrol assignment at school…walking two kindergartners out to the bus.  She always makes sure they hold her hand.”

Similarly, Camila’s attention to reading and math during Kids Club study hours paid off – she completed Kids Club reading at grade level and made great gains in math. We received the following email from Camila’s school math teacher:

“Our Camila passed her Math SOL for the first time ever!!!! Thank you for all of your support and teamwork effort in helping to make this happen! She was sooooo happy when I gave her the news this morning and said, “Ms. Jensen, I did it! I never passed before!” We then gave each other a big, tight hug! …I want to thank Kids Club and everyone who is a part of it. Kids Club changes lives!”

We are a community of people “learning together to love our neighbors as ourselves” in a Latino neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia.

As a faith-based Christian non-profit with a small staff and over 100 volunteers, we serve alongside more than 100 families and their children (1st-12th grades) each week through our community programs.

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Our relational network of volunteers and donors reflects a diverse group of individuals from all over the Washington, D.C. metro area. As a non-profit, we rely on the community for assisting program directors on-site, being mentors, supplying the needs of our food pantry, and everything in between. Each member of our Casa community holds a unique gift, whether time, talent or treasure.