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Mauricio Perez

Mauricio PerezMauricio Perez’s senior year of high school started off with a number of unexpected changes–he had just moved to Washington, DC from Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and was starting at Roosevelt High School. “It was hard at first because I was leaving everything I knew behind, including family and friends, for a different language and different lifestyle,” says Mauricio. He had always wanted to try playing football, so he attended try outs before school started and made the team as a lineman. “Everyone embraced me since day one and treated me like one of them, no different.” In search of community service hours, Mauricio joined the school’s Just Keep Livin (JKL) group, and he says the program gave him much more than the community service hours required to graduate. Mauricio “fell in the love with the program” because it gave him an opportunity to try new things including attending free Redskins games and other trips. Mauricio looks forward to exploring many new opportunities when he enrolls at Temple University, a school he visited on a college tour set up by Roosevelt. Through the JKL program, Mauricio also met Mr. Butler, an intervention coach, who Mauricio says welcomed him into the Roosevelt community and provided him with opportunities that shaped his experience. Mr. Butler described Mauricio as a “shining star” in their school community. “Anything that encompasses a successful high school experience, he went right into it,” says Mr. Butler. #DCPSGoesToCollege

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