Setting a brotherly example
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Nerthi Sanchez, a youth outreach counselor at the Five Towns Community Center, has known Claure since he joined the center’s after-school program in sixth grade. “He’s trustworthy, responsible, hard working and has a great sense of humor,” she said. “He’s also a quick learner.”
Sanchez was thrilled when Claure graduated from high school. “I was very proud because I was connected to him,” she said. “You invest in a person’s life and it’s rewarding to know he graduated. I want him to be a happy and productive adult.”
Claure said he plans on earning an associate’s degree, and then transferring to a four-year university to pursue a career in the medical field. “I want to help people; it gives me a good feeling when I’m helping somebody,” he said. “I also want to have a good job, so I can own my own house and car and set an example when I have my own kids.”
Though Contreras hasn’t been back to Bolivia to visit her family since she arrived in Inwood, knowing her children are receiving a great education has eased her homesickness. “I want the best for my kids,” she said. “I say all the time that I want my kids to have a better life. That was my sacrifice for them.”
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