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Danny's Promise

Gulfton Student Maps His Future in a Promise Neighborhood

"I want to be a veterinarian," the smiling ninth-grader, Danny Sosa, confidently tells the world.

Danny Sosa at Baker-Ripley
Neighborhood Center. Danny
appears in a
YouTube video
among other students who
participated in the first
'Rock the Block' event.
Promise Neighborhoods are all about promoting educational attainment—and Danny has been eagerly absorbing that message from his YES College Prep teachers in Gulfton. After receiving his "head start" in the Freedom Station school operated by Neighborhood Centers, Danny attended three elementary schools before gaining acceptance at YES Prep’s campus at Lee High School, where his career dreams quickly gained momentum.

"At YES, they tell us that the goal is for us to graduate and go to college. That is the expectation for everyone that goes there," he says. One of his YES Prep science teachers heard Danny voice his dreams, and promptly connected him with a friend in a veterinary practice.

"That was so cool, because I could talk to them about what it’s like to be a vet," Danny says.
Veterinary schools have daunting requirements, but Danny is building the proper credentials. Since arriving at YES, he has repeatedly earned "commended" scores on his TAKS tests—and in 7th grade, he was the only student in his school to be commended on all of his TAKS tests.
"I will be the first in my family to graduate, and that is special to me. I feel like I am a role model to my family members," he says.

Asked about what can be done to promote positive change in Gulfton, Danny is quick to respond. "We have to change what the kids in the community are seeing so they can have a positive outcome. If everything they see is negative, then what hope is there?" he asks.
Danny envisions a different future for the Gulfton Promise Neighborhood, and he
recognizes that he is part of the process. "I want to make this community a better
place and help other kids be successful," he says.