April Gonzales is November’s Member of the Month
April Gonzales is November’s Coalition Member of the Month. April represents our Youth Sector. She’s 15 and a Junior at Riverhead High School. She has been a member of Riverhead CAP’s Peer Leadership program since eighth grade.
April Gonzales has participated in Riverhead Central School District’s Spanish Club and Cooking Club. She has also been recognized for her academic achievement on the school’s Honor Roll and Principal’s Honor Roll. April’s favorite sports are tennis, soccer, and swimming. She enjoys traveling as well. Some of her favorite places are Spain, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and San Andrés.
April enjoys spending time with her family. Her mother is from Colombia, and her father is from Peru. She also has a younger brother and a dog named Bingo. April enjoys science and hopes to pursue a career one day in this field.
PEER LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
Since 2017, April Gonzales has been an outstanding member of Riverhead CAP’s Peer Leadership program. She is a strong and consistent presenter for CAP’s evidence-based prevention program at Pulaski Street School. As part of this program, she provides 6th grade students with the knowledge and skills needed to lead a healthy, drug-free life.
April is fluent in Spanish. As a result, she has substantially helped address language barriers by expanding the program to Spanish-speaking students. During the 2018-2019 school year, April completed a significant amount of community service for the program by delivering monthly lessons in English and Spanish to two separate classrooms. During the 2019-2020 school year, she delivered lessons in Spanish to over 40 sixth grade students each month until the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close.
Participation During COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, April Gonzales continues to participate in remote Peer Leadership activities. Recently April joined Riverhead CAP and Riverhead Central School District to celebrate Red Ribbon Week. As part of this campaign, students participated in a video project where they pledged to be safe, healthy, and drug-free. Adults also participated in this campaign by pledging to support students on this path.
April Gonzales is helping CAP launch our new Too Good for Drugs virtual program this year. CAP staff, adult volunteers, and peer leaders in grades 8-12 have been working diligently to deliver this program virtually. The weekly program targets Riverhead students in grades 4-6. This program will provide over 1,000 Riverhead students with the skills and knowledge they need to lead a healthy, drug-free life. Specifically, April reviews the Spanish translations for this program. She also helped create a “Welcome Back” video for Pulaski students who typically participate in the live version of the program.
April worked with CAP staff, a bilingual adult volunteer, and another bilingual peer leader to record the first two sixth grade lessons in Spanish. The first two lessons focus on setting and achieving goals. Riverhead CAP is grateful for the adult volunteers and peer leaders who assisted with these virtual lessons. The program will launch in Pulaski Street School and other elementary classrooms this month.
Riverhead Community Coalition Coordinator Kelly Miloski recently sat down with April Gonzales to talk about her experience with CAP’s Peer Leadership program. Here are the highlights:
Why did you get involved in CAP’s Peer Leadership program?
“I became involved with CAP because I like the idea of teaching younger kids. This is important to me because I have a younger brother. I like being a role model for kids to look up to. I want them to see that it is important to do well in school, and that drugs are an unnecessary and unhealthy path to go down. In addition, I really enjoy working with the Spanish-speaking students. This helps me practice my Spanish more. I also really like meeting new people from different places and learning how they speak Spanish. I enjoy relating to them on something that some people in our community can’t relate to.”
What is your favorite CAP activity?
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we started participated in monthly virtual Peer Leadership meetings. During some of these meetings we play games and that is my favorite activity part of the program. I am a really competitive person so I especially enjoy the Kahoot! trivia games we play.”
Name three words that best describe you.
“Ambitious, intelligent, and independent.”
What adventures are still on your bucket list?
“I would really love to travel the world one day. I want to go on road trips with friends and family and explore new places. One place that I really want to go to is London. I also really want to go skydiving one day.”
Besides CAP activities, what else do you like to do?
“I really like to watch movies and read books (mostly fiction and horror-related). I also enjoy spending time with my brother playing video games, swimming, and playing with my dog.”
Interested in learning more about the CAP peer leadership program or coalition membership?
Contact Kelly Miloski at (631) 727-3722 ext. 106, or Kelly.Miloski@RiverheadCAP.org.