Together We…Overcome Challenges

Over the past decade, Diana Reyes has worn many hats. She has been a Quality Assurance Coach, Site Coordinator and is now a Site Program Manager for the San Bernardino Northeast Region. The pride Diana takes in coaching her staff and maintaining program quality is the reason many students see her as a positive light. Read more about Diana Reyes! 

What is your Think Together “why?” What inspired you to work at Think Together and what continues to inspire your work here. 

I’m a former afterschool kid that grew up in the inner city of Boyle Heights. The housing projects I grew up in were infested with gangs, drugs, and violence. The afterschool program kept us out of harm’s way. It was a safe haven for us to be free, be kids, and have fun! The fact that I’m able to guide, teach, and be a pillar to my students and community keeps me motivated. It really is a full circle moment for me and continues to motivate me daily.

What is one thing you are proud of your team accomplishing this school year? What were some challenges, and what were some successes?

We faced a few challenges in the beginning of this school year. We had some staffing issues but luckily my team and I were able to rely on each other. My team managed to balance the shortage and rolled out new curriculum at the same time. I am so proud of my team, and the way we stick together. Champions!

Is there a student story that has stuck with you?

One student story that stuck with me is with a former student, Ashley. Ashley surprised me with a gift card and a devotional. She said that my positive influence inspired her to become a professional photographer. I’m very humbled and grateful that I was able to guide her in the right direction. Students coming back to tell me about their amazing career plans reminds me that what I am doing is making a difference.

What is a mantra, affirmation, or quote that has helped you over the years? Why?

Every day is a fresh start, work through your challenges and create new opportunities. The best view comes after the hardest climb. Working with students is not a science, there is no formula to make sure everything works out perfectly all the time. But these mantras help me stay on track and serve as a reminder for not just myself, but my staff and students.

 Can you share any tips to maintaining a motivated and positive work environment with your team?

Stay open-minded and be solution oriented. Encourage your team, recognize, praise your team, celebrate wins, reflect, and debrief.  Promote culture and keep the communication lines open!

How would you describe your role to someone who is thinking of becoming a Site Program Manager (SPM)? What tips would you give them to prepare for this role?

As an SPM you wear many hats. You must be comfortable not being comfortable (sometimes). Consistency, hard work, and dedication all go hand-in hand. Be open to ideas from your team and build relationships with stakeholders, parents, staff, and the community. Most of all, be the change you want to see.

Outside of work, what do you do for fun?  

 I spend time with my family! I have three wonderful boys and I’m blessed to be their momma. #boymom