Eight years ago, when Puente del Pueblo began their after-school program, Barbie and Brisa were 2nd and 3rd graders, struggling at school and trying to learn English as a second language. Today they’re in High School, with good grades in AP and Honors classes, considering colleges and imaging careers. This summer they came full circle, working as interns in the same program that started it all—Puente del Nino.

Over the hot summer months, Brisa and Barbie helped facilitate academic and recreational components of Puente’s elementary summer program. Every piece of it has been a trip down memory lane, as they experienced these same events in their first years at Puente.

Their role as interns allowed the young ladies to look forwards and backward. Working in the program solidified their desire to go to college and pursue a career teaching children, or running a business that works with kids.

At the same time, it allowed them to reflect on how far Puente as taken them, and what a difference it has made. Barbie shared, “Puente helped me learn, helped me with homework and English, gave me a vision for the future and taught me to be a good student.”

Brisa is grateful that Puente has grown up with her, expanding to middle school, then high school and now facilitating college visits. She feels like the extra attention has helped her grow into a stronger person. And she loves seeing how the program that started with seven kids—including her—is reaching more than one hundred students today. And she’s on the giving end of that, now.