Testimonials

Check out what some of our past and current UNITAS stars have to say

UNITAS means a lot to me, I wouldn’t be who I am without this program. I remember the early days, back in 2007-2008, I honestly had no friends and then there is a lovely lady named Lucy. She became my first friend, and she basically introduced me to the UNITAS program where I met many more people who I still maintain contacts with. In 2008 I first met Doc and Mr. Sherman, who became my mentors. Doc helps me a lot and he always teaches me what to do with the younger kids, especially how to keep them quiet during Family Circle time. I am the role model to the kids now. Since I have been in the UNITAS I have become a caretaker to about five kids. They say I am the reason they come to UNITAS. I love the UNITAS staff and I love what they are doing for the children in the program.. In 2011 I injured by ankle, when Josè, the supervisor, found out about my injury he, along with Stephanie and some of the UNITAS kids, came to my house and they gave me a “get well” card that the children made at the Plaza. I still have that card till this day. I personally Love UNITAS, the Caretakers, and the kids. I wouldn’t be who I am without it.

Eric A. 

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UNITAS is a huge part of who I am today. I have been in the program since the age of five. At the time the neighborhood was full of violence and drugs. UNITAS was the place where my parents knew that my brother and I would be safe and away from the influences of drugs and violence. Our caretakers worked harsh hours at their jobs but never missed a day at UNITAS where they simply volunteered their time to keep us safe and be role models for the children of the program. I then grew up and was inspired to volunteer as a caretaker, to have the opportunity to help support the children the way I had been previously supported. Having spent most of my life in this program caused it to be a large part of my life. UNITAS taught me how to listen and the importance of being heard. It taught me that even the smallest people could play the biggest roles in any situation. I learned that no matter how difficult a situation was I could always get through it with the support of others through the use of healthy communication. I also was taught the importance of diversity and how having a safe space to be "you" is a necessity. UNITAS is my safe haven, it is my space to grow and inspire others to do the same.  It is also my biggest motivation to be a successful prevention counselor in my neighborhood

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Stephanie S.

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For years I have attended a program that has benefitted me in my everyday life as child into becoming the young man I am today. My cousins Luis and Stephanie Seda were the ones who introduced me to the program. This program taught me how to properly interact with kids my age. Not only did it help me develop my social interactions with other children, it also helped me develop my skill of basketball from the help of the Caretakers. As the years went by I developed better social skills as well as skills in the game of basketball. Last year was the first year I volunteered to be in the program in a higher role. I was placed in the position of caretaker, which was a great experience because now I can help children the way the caretakers helped me when I was younger. It’s a humbling experience to see changes in kids because you taught them how to interact, you taught them a new move, or they took they advice you have them and now they are a better person because of you. This seems like a cliché and stereotype but most minority homes do not have a father figure and even if that is not true in my case, I did not have a father figure. Growing up the Caretakers at UNITAS knew Stephanie and Luis, so they knew my situation. Whenever I needed something they were always there for me. The advice they gave me help to mold the person I am today. There were many other things that helped me, but they had a vital role in my life. UNITAS will always be the program that I can say actually changed my ways of thinking and I can go as far as saying it changed my life.

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Anthony M.

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