Profiles of Impact: Luis’ “Awesome” Experience through Sports, Science, and Friends

Luis during an On the Road program

Photo Credit: Katie Schmid, The Commoneer

When Ms. Reed, the On the Road Collaborative Program Director, introduced me to Luis, an eighth grader at Skyline Middle School from Puerto Rico, and told him I would be interviewing him, he put his hand to his chest and stepped back in obvious surprise with a smile on his face.
His soft-spoken nature and humility were prevalent from the beginning, especially in how he described learning English the “funny way” through watching cartoons and repeating the words, essentially teaching himself the language.

Luis, who has regularly participated in On the Road since the sixth-grade, noted three things he loves most about being a part of On the Road: sports, science, and social skills.

Luis plays basketball with On the Road

Photo Credit: Swartz Photography

For sports, his favorite part of On the Road is the Gamechangers basketball enrichment class! Gamechangers is an ongoing opportunity at OTRC where youth learn all aspects of the game of basketball, including coaching and training, and develop their leadership skills. Luis has also learned from this class to keep trying and practicing even if he fails sometimes. He hopes to try out for the basketball team in high school!

Luis has discovered his interest in science through On the Road’s career enrichment programming and the Lego Robotics class. Through this experience, Luis realized he enjoyed working with his hands and learning that way.

As for the social aspect of On the Road, Luis said he has made some of his best friends at the after-school program. One of his best memories at On the Road is with his friend Emmanuel when they worked together during Gamechangers to win a basketball game against fellow students.

Luis plays basketball with On the Road

Photo Credit: Swartz Photography

When I asked Luis to describe On the Road in one word, he smiled and exclaimed, “Awesome!” From discovering new interests in science and basketball to making new friends, Luis’ experience even inspired him to convince his younger sister to join OTRC! Luis plans to continue attending OTRC when he goes on to high school to gain even more “awesome” experiences and learn more skills.

Find out how you can take action and be a part of setting incredible young people like Luis on the road to college & career:

photo of Courtney Hawkins in Spain

Courtney Hawkins is the contributing author for this post.

Courtney is a Junior at Bridgewater College studying Art, Philosophy and Religion and is serving as a Communications Intern with On the Road Collaborative this spring.