Working in Palm Beach County Afterschool Program Inspired Practitioner to be First Generation College Graduate While Making a Difference in the Lives of Children

Ezequiel Buenanueva-Vila began his journey working in afterschool more than three years ago when he began working as a counselor and now an activity leader at Heritage Elementary Afterschool Program.  Every professional working in afterschool or summer programs has a purpose for being there. Ezequiel loves working with youth because he enjoys connecting with them.

“Ezequiel is one of the most eager to learn practitioners I have had the pleasure to work with. He strives to expand his knowledge for his own growth to help those he works with to be the best they can be. He is a compassionate leader who is always striving to advance the quality of programming for the youth he serves.”
– Anita Winkis, Quality Advisor for Heritage Elementary Afterschool Program, Prime Time Palm Beach County

Through Prime Time’s Educational Pathway and scholarships, Ezequiel began taking classes in the youth development so that he could better understand youth and how to positively influence their lives.  Graduating in December with his Associate Degree in Human-Services Youth Development from Palm Beach State College, he started by pursuing and completing the Youth Development College Credit Certificate.

 “I am finally able to say that I am the first person in my family with a college degree. Before this experience with Prime Time, I couldn’t imagine what it would look like to obtain a college degree, but Prime Time came and cleared the way for me. They have made this road less bumpy and allowed me to feel like I really can do it by showing nothing but support the whole entire way.”  – Ezequiel Buenanueva-Vila

Ezequiel was an applicant and recipient of the ACHIEVE OST Incentive Award Program. ACHIEVE rewards practitioners for participating in trainings and earning certificates and degrees, with an emphasis on best practices in youth development. Ezequiel pays tribute to ACHIEVE for it allowing him to reward himself while striving to further his education.

“It allows me to feel like I am being paid to learn and be better at what I do. I really can’t thank Prime Time enough for the support they have shown me all this time.” – Ezequiel Buenanueva-Vila