Meet Miguel

Miguel, 15, grew up in the ECS program, joining ECS Out of School Time (then known as the ECS Beacon Program) when he was just five years old. This summer, he returned not as a student, but as an intern providing the same positive experiences to children as he received.

“They treat me as staff. Every kid here is pretty much respectful,” Miguel said. “I help kids know what they need to do and teach them what I learned here at ECS. I was taught how to write, how to be a respectful kid, how to play basketball and school stuff.”

Miguel’s passion is basketball. He plays for a local youth league and dreams of playing professionally, although he knows that’s a long shot. He is also interested in business and how marketing influences consumer decisions. Both interests stem directly from his participation in ECS programming. On the program’s recent trip to New York, the opportunity to see the commercial hustle and bustle of Manhattan made him think of business in a new way. He says that without ECS, he would be spending all his time outside the classroom sitting around the house playing video games. Of course, he still spends plenty of time playing Call of Duty, but he is thankful to have other interests.

Supporting families and communities is an important goal at ECS Out of School Time and Miguel knows how helpful the program was to his mother.

“If my mom had to pay a babysitter, that’s $100 a week. She brought me here to ECS. I’m here learning and she doesn’t have to worry about me. I’m safe here so she can work,” Miguel said.

The central goal of ECS Out of School Time is to provide a mix of fun activities and academic enrichment. The program applies innovative practices in project-based learning while supporting students with homework completion and modeling positive behaviors such as collaboration and communication. For Miguel, ECS provides a superior learning environment to school.

“There is more one on one, me having all these classmates,” Miguel said. “It’s nicer here – you understand more and there’s more time for everything.”

Miguel has experienced many concrete benefits from his participation in ECS Out of School Time, from learning to play basketball to the opportunity to gain professional and leadership experience as an intern, but he also values the impact ECS has had on the kind of person he is today.

“I’ve been here since I was five years old. They showed me a lot. They showed me manners; they showed me how to be a caring person, a sharing person.”