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Mario Alfaro: Helping youth in Grand Rapids


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Mario Alfaro, Youth and Gang Specialist at Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, shares why he enjoys working with the Supporting Our Leaders program.

/Hispanic Center of Western Michigan

Mario, left, and a high school graduate

Mario, left, and a high school graduate /Hispanic Center of Western Michigan

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Helping youth find jobs that will help them later in life is hard. This is why the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan has organized a program which helps youth by providing them with meaningful jobs. Mario Alfaro, Youth Advocate and Gang Specialist at Hispanic Center, shares why he enjoys what he does.

"I'm passionate about youth opportunites," says Alfaro. "I'm usually always doing something different everyday." The summer youth employment program, Support Our Leaders (SOL), helps prepare middle schoolers for high and high schoolers for college. Alfaro shares that each year, the Hispanic Center tries to change the program to keep it fresh and engaging.

"Many Hispanic and African American youth have over come many obstacles due to where there from and we prepare them with everything they need" says Alfaro. "We try to communicate with youth a lot we go to field trips with them and we make differents activities for them so they can see the other side of us so they won't aways see us as 'a suit' and in the office telling them what to do."

To learn more about Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, please visit their website.


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