Froylan remembers the first time he visited the Cook Library Center – he was four years old and his mom, Flor, had told him he was going to be having a fun-filled afternoon.
Today, Froylan is nine years old, and is in the fourth grade:"This library is my favorite library. Here I get to feel special."
Having fun for Froylan means delving into our Robotics program with Mr. Andrew. Because his favorite class is science, Froylan was really excited when he was asked by Ms. Sue to be a part of the robotics class. In robotics class, Froylan gets to build things with Legos and circuits and make things come alive.
"When I see what I can build – I feel proud of myself. It makes me feel like I am able to become someone in the future who can make something out of nothing and it is only mine."
With the help of Mr. Andrew, Froylan built what he calls, "The Destroyer 2000", a robot that can move forward and backwards and make wheelies: "I made the whole thing, and I feel proud of that."
The Cook Arts Center has been a part of Lanaesia's life since she was 3 years old when the Arts Center was her Head Start School.
Today, Lanaesia serves as a Teen Staff at the Cook Arts Center. Before that she took part in sewing, Mexican folkloric dance, and break dance classes. "I love that classes here are free because it helps people in the neighborhood who can't afford classes like these to to learn and play."
At the Cook Arts Center, Lanaesia has a meaningful relationship with Ms. Vanessa: "She just understands you and we talk like we are friends. She knows me and wants to continue to get to know me."
The 14 year old describes herself as "flabbergasting", "vibrant" and "loud". Lanaesia is passionate about sharing her opinion with others: "At Cook Arts they always ask what I think and I know they will never do something without the community's permission. If we don't like it – they will not do it."
When Lanaesia grows up she wants to be a midwife and veterinarian. "I hate to see animals be hurt, and I want to be able to help heal them. I also want to help new mothers with their children."
"I feel like I belong here. This is my second home. It's like a shelter. This place is so special."