Bronx Girls Club Gave A Second Chance To A Victim Of The Streets

I attended The Girls Club during a particularly turbulent time in my life. The period was a crossroad of sorts. I went in for a job program after I dropped out of high school due to the repeated assaults and violence that were visited upon me. I was always a good student, and everyone was shocked at my decision to leave Dodge H.S., but they had no idea what I went through every single day.


Lord knows what would have happened if I didn’t leave that environment. I’ll simply say that I came very close to my breaking point, and I believe that I made the right decision for my life back then.

Due to my studious background, I aced all the Girls Club course work, and apparently I exhibited great leadership qualities. It was then Ms Cerette Thompson (the program director) took notice and suggested that I DID NOT take any of the job offers coming my way upon the program’s completion. I was confused, getting a job was the objective of this program. However, she insisted that I could do more, she ordered that I go to Monroe College for their 24 credit GED program. Out of respect for her wisdom, and with great reservation, I took her advice.


Once I started college, I started to get A’s all across the board, there was no way that I would stop after earning the GED. That was only a bonus, my eyes were set on a bigger prize! I continued to earn an Associate Degree, joined the Air Force reserves, secured a job at Wall Street, and then continued on to earn a Bachelors Degree. The rest is history.


I have always been grateful to Ms Thompson for her guidance and for believing in me. I wish I could find her and treat her to a nice big dinner.

In any case, here is to second chances in life!


This is a true story of Growing Up Bronx. If this inspires you, please share it and maybe help someone see that they too can achieve more!

PS: I found her in 2018! We reconnected and she was so grateful to hear my story and how she was instrumental in my life being where it is today! How cool is that? I was so happy to be able to tell her. She said, “Just when I was wondering if my work really made a difference.” How’s that for timing! Awesome sauce.

Please look at the date on posts, it may be an old view. Growth and change.

Angel Rodriguez

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