Together We…Make a Positive Impact
As a new site coordinator, Laura Píno-Flores has already demonstrated her dedication to Think Together’s mission at Hubbard Media Arts Academy. Before becoming a site coordinator in Think Together’s Bay Area region, Laura worked as a program leader for five years. Today, she uses her extensive experience working directly with students to create an afterschool space that is safe and supportive of students’ needs. Laura is known in her region for going above and beyond to ensure she and her team deliver a high-quality program that changes the odds for kids.
What is your Think Together “why?”
I have always loved working with kids and giving back to my community. I began tutoring younger students when I was in the fifth grade and loved the feeling of helping them achieve their goals. When I heard about Think Together, I thought it was a perfect fit for me. Watching the students progress and building relationships with them is my “why.” I love making a positive impact on students at Think Together and I continue to be inspired to do my best for them.
What is one of your proudest moments that connect to your “why?”
One of my proudest moments this year was our culminating visual and performing arts event. With the help of our enrichment instructors, we were able to showcase what the students accomplished this year. The first through third graders showcased the artwork they created in their murals class and the fourth through eighth graders performed a short play from their theater class. It was really nice to see the students get recognition from parents and stakeholders! The event made me feel proud of them for working hard to put on an amazing show.
What is your favorite memory from the school year?
My favorite memory this school year was during our Spring Break Camp at Hubbard Media Arts Academy. I met so many different students from other schools in our Alum Rock Union School District. Although it was only a one-week program, the students really enjoyed it. I had many students asking me if I was going to lead a Think Summer program. A middle school student also told me how when he first found out his mother enrolled him in a program over spring break, he was a little bummed out. But, once he arrived, he fell in love with all the activities. This student became a student leader and helped set up the carnival event to end the week and said he had never experienced anything like it before. Hearing all the positive comments from the students really warmed my heart and reminded me why I love what I do.
What one word would you use to sum up your experience working for Think Together?
Rewarding. Despite all the stress, time, and consistent effort that it takes to run a quality program for the students, at the end of the day it is so rewarding to see the students’ progress.
What are the professional goals you are hoping to accomplish in 2023?
My goal is to keep learning and improving the afterschool program at Hubbard. I want to provide the best program I can for the students as well as look for ways that students can lead and take initiative in the program. Another goal I hope to accomplish is to provide more coaching support for incoming staff. Now that I have become more comfortable in my role, my goal is to work on providing them with support and helping them become their best self.
Outside of work, what do you do for fun?
One thing I like to do for fun outside of work is looking for new places to eat. I love trying different foods, going to new restaurants, and enjoying new food with my family and friends.