“I want to help people and inspire women,” says high school senior Lissette. The afterschool program at her high school has been her community – a safe place – since her freshman year. When she graduates, Lissette plans on breaking into a male-dominated field to inspire other women to push boundaries.

Because of you, Lissette has a tutor and participates in fun activities that keep her safe and involved at school. With additional funding from Dwight Stuart Youth Fund and Bank of America, the programs are preparing students for the future with college and career skills. As a student leader, Lissette says, “The goal is for everyone to feel welcomed and not be ashamed to ask for help with homework.”

For Lissette, the teen center is home – she’d rather spend time here than at her house because it’s “safer”. The program provides her a positive environment. “I come to the teen center and I feel like I belong somewhere,” says Lissette, “This program makes a lot of kids happy.” She’s found a home where she’s accepted, can pursue her passions, and plan for the future.

Lissette has been admitted to her dream school, Cal Poly Pomona, and will pursue a degree in Criminology. Her goal is to become a forensic analyst. “I’ve always been interested in mysteries [like] Sherlock – [I’m] obsessed with Law and Order.” She is passionate about discovering the truth and wants to investigate crime scenes. But Lissette is pursuing this career for a bigger reason.

“There are not a lot of women who are forensic analysts,” she explains, “My goal is to make a difference and show women that they can do whatever they want to do.” Congratulations on graduating, Lissette! We can’t wait to see you do what you want to do.

Little schoolgirl smiling at camera