Resident Services News

The LINC Academy for Social Transformation (LAST) graduates another class!

The LINC Academy for Social Transformation (LAST) graduates another class!

Posted: 10-10-2012

Another class of emerging leaders have graduated from the LINC Academy for Social Transformation in Spanish! Nine Spanish speaking and bi-lingual groundbreakers are armed with tools, resources and training to help lead their communities to success on all levels. Three participants — Myra Cortez, Sandra Martinez and Monica Sabala —tell us how the academy affected them.

What have you learned so far?

Myra: This educated me that we can be heard. This class is giving us the materials and the knowledge to take it to the next level which is to be a part of the community and do something about it. We are a part of a community, we are not alone – there are more people like us here. We can all be united and be strong and let our voices be heard within the community. I am even learning stuff about myself. It triggered something in me. I’m a leader. I do have a voice.

Sandra: It was a reflection that as a community we can get together and unite. We don’t have to be stuck in the same spot, we can grow. And it’s always good to know that there are Spanish services. Maybe you don’t know the language, but you still can communicate.

Monica: I’ve learned that I’m a leader. We are all different, but we can find the qualities in everyone to unite and become strong, and make a huge change. I can use this to help my school, and help educate the parents that they can get the resources – we just need to ask for them.

What do you think you’ll do first when you graduate?

Myra: They mentioned monthly Grand Rapids council meetings – I’m looking forward to attending those. Hopefully someday our voices will be heard, and there will be Hispanic representatives on that board. I’m going to support that. But all the projects I can get involved with – Believe 2 Become, the neighborhood association, they are all good. We know that we will have support. The moral support that LINC provides is good. It’s sometimes all you need – that extra push. I want to help other people make their dreams come true within the community.

Monica: Right now I am focused on education. I want to make some programs to educate parents to help children with homework, or even to learn their own language. In my school sometimes the parents don’t know how to read and write Spanish. If we educate them they can learn their own language, and after that they can also learn English.

Sandra: I’m already a part of Believe 2 Become and Baby Scholars, but now I want to take health classes for awareness. LINC is like a trampoline – it gives you that extra boost to keep on going and to know that you are not alone doing this. There are a lot of people like you behind you pushing you and supporting you out there. I am very happy, and keep that motivation.

How do you feel, in one sentence or one word?

Myra: I feel supported, motivated and educated.

Sandra: One word or sentence is not enough to express how I feel! {laughs} Happy and grateful.

Monica: I feel strong and that I have the power to make change.