Preguntas y Respuestas con Abner

(Questions and Answers with Abner)

Meet the 2020 Michael Lotito Fellows! This year’s class of Fellows is hard-working, creative, bold, and strong. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing their stories and dreams with you. We can’t wait for you to get to know these impressive young leaders.

Name: Abner
Hometown: San Angel

How was your experience with the Institute last year?
It was a very nice experience, and it was exciting because of the activities we did.

What was your favorite week of the Institute last year and why?
My favorite was Business and Marketing week, when we took a weightlifting class with Wendy.

Which class or theme did you like the best?
Art class and the kettlebell class.

What are your plans for the future?
I want to finish high school and begin university, where I’d like to study graphic design or play collegiate sports.

Tell us a few fun facts about yourself.
I enjoy hamburgers, watching the T.V. show “The Good Doctor,” and going to history class at school.

What app do you use the most and why?
I like Facebook as a bit of a distraction.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
The United States.

 

 

Preguntas y Respuestas con Milka

(Questions and Answers with Milka)

Meet the 2020 Michael Lotito Fellows! This year’s class of Fellows is hard-working, creative, bold, and strong. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing their stories and dreams with you. We can’t wait for you to get to know these impressive young leaders.

Name: Milka
Hometown: San Angel

How was your experience with the Institute last year?
It was a really good experience that I would recommend to 100% of young people. I met new people, I learned to leave my comfort zone, and I took the opportunity to interact with people outside of my established social circle. The Institute showed me that I have a second family that supports me and believes in me and in young people.

What was your favorite week of the Institute last year and why?
My favorite weeks were the first and third, self-discovery and self-expression. In self-discovery week, I learned that I could trust myself and that to heal, I need to forgive. I understand now that to achieve something, I can, as long as I trust myself and have the willpower to do it. I also enjoyed self-expression week because I learned to appreciate that we can express our emotions in many ways, like painting, singing, or telling a story.

Which class or theme did you like the best?
Elizabeth’s sessions were very comfortable and helped us create trust among ourselves so that we could listen and let go of things in the past and forgive.

What are your plans for the future?
My long-term plan is to finish high school and then get a bachelor’s degree in advertising so that I can work and support myself. I want to get a job related to my studies and then work to improve my community, both economically and socially, in the way that we relate to one another. I want San Angel to use its resources to help people. My other dream is to travel, to get to know as many places as possible within Mexico and learn their traditions and cultures.

Tell us a few fun facts about yourself.
It’s hard for me to choose favorites! My favorite color is black, and I like to paint but I’m not very good at it, so I just started learning calligraphy. I don’t have a favorite food because I like everything, and at the moment I don’t have a favorite class in school, either. I like to read and my favorite book is The Diary of Anne Frank. I also like listening to music–some of my favorite songs are “House of Gold” and “Tear My Heart” by Twenty-One Pilots.

What app do you use the most and why?
Right now, I use WhatsApp the most frequently to communicate, Canvas to work on homework, Netflix to watch movies, and Facebook and Google to find information.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
It would be Rome or Amsterdam, for the cultures there.

Preguntas y Respuestas con David

(Questions and Answers with David)

Meet the 2020 Michael Lotito Fellows! This year’s class of Fellows is hard-working, creative, bold, and strong. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing their stories and dreams with you. We can’t wait for you to get to know these impressive young leaders.

Name: David
Hometown: Kantunilkin

How was your experience with the Institute last year?
It was an unforgettable experience. I learned so much and got to know both myself and my companions. My mind opened so much, and I was able to see beyond what was just physically in front of me. But above all, I started to want to live in a way different than society tells us.

What was your favorite week of the Institute last year and why?
The business and marketing week was my favorite because that’s what I already have chosen to study, and I really enjoy doing it, so the business training was a huge support to my studies and career. I also liked that week because people who were different in all ways lived together.

Which class or theme did you like the best?
English–I like the language. And it should be emphasized that our English teachers were different from the teachers we’re used to, and so I enjoyed these classes because I was really learning and really understanding what they were telling us.

What are your plans for the future?
I plan to get a bachelor’s degree in business administration, which is the career I’ve chosen to be the base of my life. Not only work, though. In my free time, I will continue to write songs like I do now, but in the future, I will buy my own music equipment and sing my songs in front of other people. I enjoy doing it, and I think my lyrics are motivating and inspiring. Also, I dream a lot about having a family and kids of my own, but that will happen when I am firmly established in life.

Tell us a few fun facts about yourself.
My favorite food is mole. On the weekends, I enjoy coloring, writing and taking care of my plants–I have a lot, and I loooooove them. In school, my favorite classes are biology, business administration, and English.

What app do you use the most and why?
WhatsApp because I can communicate with my loved ones and friends who are not nearby.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
It’s been my dream since I was little to go to New York. Christmas seems incredible there, and I would love to spend Christmas there.

Preguntas y Respuestas con Ingrid

(Questions and Answers with Ingrid)

Meet the 2020 Michael Lotito Fellows! This year’s class of Fellows is hard-working, creative, bold, and strong. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing their stories and dreams with you. We can’t wait for you to get to know these impressive young leaders.

Name: Ingrid
Hometown: Kantunilkin

How was your experience with the Institute last year?
It was so magnificent that I can’t describe everything I felt at that time.

What was your favorite week of the Institute last year and why?
I loved self-expression week because I could be myself.

Which class or theme did you like the best?
Art was my favorite. I loved it.

What are your plans for the future?
I want to study physical therapy and have my own practice one day.

Tell us a few fun facts about yourself.
My favorite food is pasta. On the weekends, I like to spend time with friends or watch a movie.

What app do you use the most and why?
WhatsApp and email are the easiest for me.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
The three places I would love to visit one day are the United States, Morocco, and Venice.

 

 

 

 

Announcing the Casa Hope Kitchen!

We have BIG news.

We have a brand new Casa Hope Kitchen!

From the beginning, our kitchen has been full of joy — constant singing and laughter — even when it looked more like a closet than a cooking space. It delivered incredible meals, even when our team was cooking from hot plates under the stairs.

And every morning, as the team called out, “Chicos, vamos a comer!” (students, let’s eat!) the kitchen became our gathering place. Like in many crowded, bustling homes, the kitchen has always been the heart — providing nourishment, community, and a touchstone three times a day.

When we started renovating Casa Hope, we already knew just how much the kitchen mattered.

But then our dreams started to grow. In addition to a clean, functional, joy-filled cooking space, what if the kitchen could also be a place of possibility, education, and development for our students?

We had a vision of a professional culinary institute and hospitality program that would equip students with the hands-on skills they needed to pursue their dream careers.

And then we got to work to make it happen.

The incredible design team at RDstudio, Inc. and a team of restaurant experts graciously donated their expertise to the project, drawing up plans for a professional-grade kitchen and leading us through the construction and design process.

We tore down walls, created more space, painted, and tiled.

We ordered best-in-class appliances, surfaces, and sinks.

We focused on commercial-level health and safety so the space can be used to serve the whole community — and be a jumping-off point for future professional endeavors.

And now it’s here. Ready to be filled with food and learning and incredible young people.

We are so grateful to everyone who has contributed to this project and made this vision a reality. This kitchen represents so much opportunity for our students, and in so many ways, it is still our beating heart.

In a few short weeks, members of our kitchen team will be in here singing, cooking for this year’s Fellows, and going through a pilot version of the culinary program set to officially launch in early 2021. This is only the beginning – and we cannot wait for all that comes next.