POR VIDA is a culturally responsive program supporting academic achievement for students in the Santa Maria High School District. POR VIDA works with youth individually and in groups, in English and Spanish, using a "Joven Noble" curriculum — and we convene parents as well, with “Cara y Corazón." Together, we are meeting the generational challenges of our times.
POR VIDA: Positive, Outcomes, Respect, Valor, Identity, Diploma, Achievements
- POSITIVE: Being positive is a mindset and key component of the POR VIDA program. We will sustain a positive attitude and approach in how we build relationships with our students and families. This approach will sustain and maintain us from falling into despair or becoming a victim or statistic. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Only light can drive out darkness.”
- OUTCOMES: We recognize that words like the wind can evaporate into thin air. We acknowledge that outcomes speak louder than words. When we are told that we are bound to fail or that the choices we have made may have limited our options, we seek outcomes that will improve our opportunities for a better life. Outcomes are personal and unique.
- RESPECT: For many of us in the POR VIDA program, respect has not been a shared experience. Too often, it has been demanded that we respect others who have no respect for us. Respect begins and ends with us. We will not be drawn into a situation that will cause us to compromise our respect nor will we tolerate those who choose to disrespect us.
- VALOR: Valor is a character trait of our culture. Our elders have taught us that the true definition of valor is doing what is ethical and moral. Valor is standing up for one's culture and family. Valor is also not bending to deficit thinking about whom we are and represent. Valor will help sustain each of us to do what is right and just. We refuse to suffer in silence.
- IDENTITY: Identity is important as it represents how we see ourselves. Too often, our experience has been that institutional racism and systemic oppression has attempted to disparage our identity. We have come to realize how we see ourselves is what defines us not how others misjudge us.
- DIPLOMA: A primary goal of the POR VIDA program is that we will graduate from high school. This significant achievement is testimony that we decided for ourselves to earn this key to options for the future. It is proof to us that despite great challenges and obstacles, we can also accomplish what others with more privilege have attained.
- ACHIEVEMENT: Achievement is the result of a positive action that will mean different outcomes for different people based on their individual goals. As part of the POR VIDA program, we recognize that all students and families are in different situations. Achievement measures will be collaborative and self-defined.
For more information on the POR VIDA program, email Program Manager Michael Fuentes via phone (805) 757-9525 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.