Edwin Ortega came to the United States 16 years ago—and has spent 15 of those years living at Montebello Apartments. Not just as a Bienestar resident—he was also a participant in our youth services, including getting volunteer tutoring for math and taking advantage of our Education Navigation program.
Edwin was a bright student at Hillsboro’s Liberty High, taking college level courses and doing well. But calculus remained a challenge. Bienestar Resident Services Director Gracie Garcia knew just the thing: Connect Edwin with a math tutor! And the Bienestar volunteer family had just the man for the job, Alejandro Vilches. A software engineer at Intel, Alejandro was also the Bienestar Volunteer of the Year for 2013, a recognition he received for supporting the Teens Build Your Own Computer workshops, the GED classes, and tutoring youth.
Edwin remembers, “He came to our home and we hit it off right away. He would greet my parents and family in Spanish, and then we would go off and work on my math in English for at least two hours.” Tutoring sessions typically happened on Saturdays, but Alejandro would spend more or fewer hours as needed by Edwin. Plus, Edwin had the convenience of tutoring at home, with no need to travel to a special program.
As Edwin advanced to college, Alejandro would also help Edwin with programming skills and computer knowledge. Edwin is now a full-time student at PSU, scheduled to graduate in 2018 with a degree in computer science. Edwin has also applied to be a summer intern at Intel, working for the wireless technology group.
Edwin continues to live in Montebello Apartments with his father, Alejandro Ortega, who is a Bienestar Board member, and his mother Berta, who is a Promotora at Montebello.
Congratulations to Edwin on his successes and thanks to Alejandro Vilches for donating his time and talents to Bienestar.