Dulce Flourishes with Team Rallying Alongside Her

By Catherine Krummey, Marketing & Social Media Manager

Dulce, a senior in our Graduation Success program, reached a milestone this year when she passed all of her classes for the first time ever.

“She’s super-duper smart, so it felt super frustrating, but I knew her efforts and intelligence would pay off,” said Sherry Edwards, Dulce’s Treehouse Education Specialist.

Last year, Sherry connected Dulce with Emily Smith, a tutor.

“If I didn’t have Emily, I wouldn’t be passing half my classes,” Dulce said. “We get along really well. I did tutoring before, but it was awkward. With Emily, I feel comfortable, like I can be myself.”

“We have a good vibe going, but she doesn’t give herself enough credit,” Emily added.

Dulce and Emily were first connected as Dulce had a need for a tutor in history and English, and their partnership continued with a culinary arts class. Sherry connected the two of them through the Treehouse CARES Project, which provides funding for education needs during the pandemic.

“They’re both super artistic and think outside the box, so I knew they would be a good match,” Sherry said.

After months of not being able to meet in person, Dulce and Emily decided they’d like to meet up and cook something together for a culinary arts assignment. Emily invited Dulce and her mother to her home, and the tutor-student pair asked Dulce’s mother to teach them how to make tamales.

“Cooking is something we bond over,” Dulce said of her relationship with her mother.

Dulce added that because her mother speaks Spanish and not English, she can’t always help her with homework. With this gluten-free assignment for culinary class, she felt like she could really be involved in helping her daughter with schoolwork and pass on the Mexican tradition of making tamales.

They made three kinds of tamales: pork, strawberry, and queso fresco & jalapeño. In addition to Dulce, Emily and Dulce’s mom, they invited extended family to join in the tamale-making day.

“We just sat around the table and talked while making tamales,” Emily said. “It was even cooler than I imagined.”

They also invited Sherry to enjoy some tamales.

“I consider Sherry family at this point,” Dulce said. “I love her a lot.”

Sherry added that she’s worked with Dulce for five years and she’s the third of three siblings she’s worked with during her time at Treehouse and in her previous role at Shoreline Public Schools. She loved seeing everyone come together to make tamales, especially since everyone was vaccinated and the gathering took place during one of the lowest COVID transmission times.

“This is one of the best things that can happen out of the community you make,” she said.

Learn more about our Graduation Success program for youth experiencing foster care at treehouseforkids.org/graduation-success.

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About the Author

Catherine Krummey is the Marketing and Social Media Manager at Treehouse. She is passionate about storytelling and excited to share stories about Treehouse through social media, blog posts and newsletters.

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