Maribel Andrade always knew she had a unique gift that enabled her to connect with teens. A senior at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, she is earning a bachelor’s degree in social work, with a minor in sociology. Maribel enjoys working with adolescents and helping them overcome the many challenges they face.
Currently, Maribel is an intern located at South Philadelphia High School with the ELECT (Education Leading to Employment and Career Training) teen parent program. “I am interested in supporting adolescents and providing the guidance they need to achieve their goals and pursue higher education,” she stated.
Prior to volunteering with Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, Maribel gained experience working with teenagers in the TRIO Upward Bound program as a coach/mentor. She commented, “It was so rewarding to tutor high school students and provide them with the educational skills needed to improve their study techniques.”
When asked why she chose Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, Maribel explained that she was looking for the best prospect that would allow her internship to be meaningful and make a strong impact. She shared, “Through the Philadelphia Center Program, I had the opportunity to interview with several agencies. I had an interest in working with many. However, I heard about a personal experience at ELECT from a friend and I became pretty confident that I would love the experience too.”
She continued, “I really liked the idea about working with teen parents, helping them stay in school and supporting them with anything that they needed. The ELECT program just fit a lot of the things that I wanted to work with, especially the fact about working with youth that are vulnerable to taking a wrong turn.”
This dedicated volunteer is really enjoying making a difference in the lives of Philadelphia youth. As she looks forward to her own graduation from Hope College, she commented about her future aspirations, “I want to be able to interact with students and build a professional and friendly rapport with them. I am learning a lot from the program and the students as well. Overall, I am looking forward to learning and being able to manage and fulfill the description beyond just being an intern, but as a social worker.”