Raymond Fernandez: From AfterZone Student to Hub Student Teacher


Here at PASA, we’ve been talking about “pathways of learning,” of creating ways for students to get and remain engaged in their learning experience from 6th grade all the way through graduation.

But what does that look like?

It looks a lot like Raymond Fernandez! 

When Raymond started taking guitar in the AfterZone as a quiet, shy 6th grader in 2008, it would have been difficult to imagine the confident, passionate [and tall!], self-directed peer leader he’s become.

Raymond spent his time in the AfterZone building a close mentor/mentee relationship with guitar instructor Willie Stephens. Raymond’s relationship with Willie built his passion for music and for learning, not to mention his ability to play a mean Black Sabbath rif!  

As a high school freshman at the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex,Raymond
gave back to the AfterZone last year as a Hub intern in PASA’s HubZone program, which gives high school students the opportunity to work with AfterZone program providers as co-instructors and peer-to-peer mentors for 8th graders–helping to prepare them for high school and acting as positive high school role models, while gaining valuable career skills in youth development.

Guess what Raymond taught: Guitar!

Because he spent so much time in the Hub’s space here at 140 Broadway, Raymond also got aquainted with and interested in another Hub program provider–Youth Venture, which helps high school youth develop models and investor pitches for youth-led businesses. While still working as a HubZone intern, Raymond decided to join the Youth Venture team to develop his own business idea for an after-school program. 

Turns out, Raymond has other interests besides guitar–video games being one of his big ones. When he’s not in school, teaching 8th graders, or shredding, Raymond likes to upload videos of himself accomplishing difficult gaming maneuvers to social media. His after-school business–RaymanX51 Productions–would combine gaming, social media, and video to teach young people how to use cutting edge digital video equipment and editing software.

This fall, 15-year-old Raymond—now over 6ft. tall, composed, and confident—will be working to do just that through the Hub’s ELO initiative. Raymond will work as a youth instructional leader with the Inspiring Minds Social Media ELO teaching fellow high school students video editing!

To keep up with Raymond and all of the other amazing high school students participating in the Hub’s ELOs this year, check out www.hubprov.com!

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