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Heaven Torres (Class of 2022) is a recent Breakthrough New York alum who graduated from SUNY New Paltz. She earned her BA in elementary education and teaching and is currently pursuing her master’s in special education.
A Breakthrough Ambassador
Being an outgoing and active person, a program like Breakthrough suited Heaven. It offered more than just homework help; it also provided an outlet to make friends and have fun. Heaven channeled her enthusiasm into being a Breakthrough ambassador – a student representative for the organization. She attended fundraising galas, gave tours to donors, and even conducted radio interviews. These activities taught Heaven at an early age how to make connections with people.
“I’m very good at interviewing. I’m very good at being able to speak in front of a group of people,” she says on how this skill helps her in her post-college life. “It was also helpful [in] learning how to advocate for myself.”
In addition to her graduate studies at SUNY New Paltz, Heaven works as a youth coordinator at New Paltz Youth Program. She stresses the importance of serving her community. “My goal is to become a special ed teacher in a self-contained classroom,” she says, “because I found that’s where my heart lies right now. Those are the kids that I feel need it, especially in underrepresented communities.” She is also a member of Zeta Phi Beta, a sorority that focuses on community service.
Heaven shares a special story of how she brought the spirit of Breakthrough home with her. “My little brother is now in Breakthrough,” she says. “[It’s a] great full circle moment to see him in first year, having a good time and enjoying the program.”
Connect with Heaven on LinkedIn.