Ronnie Allchin and Maryori Cantizano: Two First Star Academy Mentees Taking On 2021
First Star, a national non-profit, partners with child welfare agencies, universities, and school districts to improve the lives of foster youths. Their ultimate goal is to equip them with the academic, life skills, and adult supports needed to help build a better path to higher education and adulthood.
In conjunction with First Star Academy South Jersey Collaborative, the organization also publishes a YouTube series that focuses on high school students’ personal and academic journeys. Its most recent episode celebrates a new year, new beginnings, and highlights two very special First Star Mentees as they navigate through school, life, and the start of 2021. First Star Mentor Isaiah Showell catches up with Ronnie Allchin and Maryori Cantizano, two Southern New Jersey teenagers, to cover a range of topics from current affairs, personal hobbies, learning remotely during the pandemic.
When asked by Showell how he’s been spending the beginning part of his year, Ronnie says that schoolwork, quality time spent with family, and artistic pursuits with a social justice twist have helped the days go by. His education – divided into traditional academic courses done remotely and an in-person portion at a technical school with a focus on auto body repair – has been a unique experience during these unprecedented times.
Mayori, another student who happens to be learning fully remote, said she has no urge to return to traditional learning until it’s completely safe and things have returned to normal. Upon being questioned about her personal advice to others about how to spend their time best, her recommendation was on self-improvement. Mayori told Showell, “Use Covid-19 and the quarantine to focus on yourself.” Beyond catching up on her favorite streaming shows, she’s chosen to fill her remaining free time with returning to exercise routines and other positive physical habits.
On a lighter note, Delaney Spence, another First Star Mentor, gives his unique take on all the exciting football playoff action that dominated the month of January leading up to early February’s big game.
First Star Mentor Yasmine Abed closes the video with a message to high school juniors and seniors by imparting advice regarding the final steps in preparation for stepping into their college careers. To see all the highlights of the January newsletter and more, view the video here.
Feb, and March newsletters.
They are all now available on our Youtube channel.