Meet Juanita


Juanita is a senior and will be graduating from the Early College Academy in June as an honor roll student. She came to NAYA as a high school dropout who was ready to give up on her education. NAYA immediately surrounded her with positive adults who were eager to change her view on education. “I didn’t realize there were this many people who cared and wanted to see me succeed.” Through hard work, determination and a range of supports, Juanita not only caught up academically, but flourished in every area of her life.

Last April, Juanita stood tall in front of a crowd of more than 250 community professionals, political leaders, business owners, and her peers as the student speaker at the Early College Academy Luncheon. She fearlessly shared her journey of struggle, perseverance and now success which left the crowd in a standing ovation at the end of her story.

“It’s not just a school, it’s a second family.” Juanita said when asked why she enjoys coming to school. Today, she is looked to as a leader in her classes and enjoys incorporating her culture into her daily assignments and says she knows she wouldn’t be able to do that at just any school. “I am proud of what I have accomplished.” – Juanita

Watch a video of Juanita’s story:

Juanita’s Story from NAYA on Vimeo.