Puente Counselor Maricruz Meza from James Logan High School, Union City share her experience as a former Puentista and current Puente counselor.
Being a Puentista at Tennyson High made me feel like I was part of a special group of students. It helped me have a special bond with the counselor and teacher, as well as helped me come out of my shell as a leader. I really admired seeing how the Puente students and staff worked together at Tennyson, siempre con el corazón, despite the obstacles of working at a high school that did not have many resources to offer its students (and staff). I didn't know what it meant to be a counselor, but I knew I wanted to follow the steps of my high school counselor, Ms. Rios, because she helped my siblings and me, especially during very difficult times in our lives. Becoming a Puente Counselor has definitely been rewarding. I love the bond I have with my students and seeing their accomplishments: personally, socially, professionally, etc. When I hear stories about students and their experience in Puente, I become nostalgic. I know they are very true, powerful and life changing because I was in their shoes. One aspect that I think is truly special about Puente at Logan is our teamwork: staff teamwork as well as the Puente Club Officers' teamwork. I feel that they are able to see how the Puente staff work together, get along well, and really care about the students. In turn, they too work well together, get along well and if they don't know each other (yet) they find ways to learn about one another and feel connected. Seeing the students' leadership, overcoming obstacles within the club and picking themselves up is amazing. During this pandemic, they have really stepped up as leaders to find ways to continue to bond, contribute to the community and continue to support Puente overall (virtually). Because these are a group of students we work much more closely with outside of the classroom, it is always difficult to see them go, but so heartwarming to see them come back to visit and tell us about their college experiences. I would like to share some highlights of what Puente at JLHS is doing:
-9th grade orientation (September)
-Financial Aid presentation for seniors (late September)
-Virtual college tours/presentations for students in 9-11th grade
-Weekly Puente Seminar course for seniors -Bi-monthly Puente Club meetings with guest speakers including Puente Alumni