Facilitator Spotlight: Yesenia Leon

What inspired you to volunteer with our ACE Program?

"I was hired as a math tutor when I graduated from Sylmar High School. Eventually, I got involved with LAUSD's Beyond the Bell "Take Action" Campaign and then fell in love with ACE.

What inspired me was giving kids the opportunity to show who they are in a nonacademic setting. Also, being able to help kids grown in an unconventional way. I had a bad experience in high school and I wanted to do anything that I can to make it easier for high school students."


What is one of your favorite moments with ACE?

“My favorite moment was the Cesar Chavez Learning Academies (CCLA) Family event in 2013. The reason why it stands out is because I had the opportunity to work with the 9th-grade class. I was able to see them grow and stretch over 3 days. This was their first week of school and it really set the tone. Social Emotional Learning was promoted above all else and everything came full circle. I was able to see the parents appreciate their children and vice versa. Their home life and school life came together. I feel that we need to celebrate people more often."

How can Social Emotional Learning benefit students?

"It brings awareness of your inner potential. Social Emotional Learning allows students to take power over their lives and use it in whatever way they want."

What is your advice to students?

"Life is about learning how to love yourself and others. And teaching others how to do the same. The kids really make their lives what it is. They determine the reality of the experience that they get."