Aida Maldonado’s story is one of dedication. During 14 years at the New York City Mission Society, Aida has dedicated herself to the improvement of the lives of the thousands of youth living and going to school in the Bronx, and that dedication has helped these youth overcome the challenges they face to become healthy and happy adults.
Very early in her career, Aida came to understand several vital components to success in her role at the Mission Society: First, she established a strong, collaborative relationship with her host-school’s principal, so much so that one of her first principals referred to her as “one of my assistant principals.” Aida has had similarly strong relationships with each of the principals she has worked with and understands that these relationships are critical to the success of the work of both schools and afterschool programs.
Another essential component in Aida’s success is her partnership with students’ parents and caregivers. Working in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood, Aida has strived to meet the needs of her participants’ parents by securing as many resources to support them as possible and conducting parent workshops in Spanish. She has established a strong relationship with both the Montefiore Health Clinic to provide her participants and their families with much needed health and wellness resources.
Finally, Aida’s most critical component of success is the strength of her staff. Her ability to supervise has led to the retention of staff year after year, pulling individuals from wide range of roles, from teachers and parents to professionals and college students. The dedicate to the field she promotes among her staff in the way they approach their work, giving evidence to the impact Aida is having on the youth of her program in myriad ways.