For CFES Alumna Patreecha Lee, a graduate from Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts, failure is not an option. Her involvement in an assortment of leadership roles helped build resolve, will-power and agility that she has used to overcome steep odds.

Lee’s journey began at Harlem Children’s Zone where she was able to create and implement activities based on the interest of her participant needs, the kids. This allowed her the opportunity to engage with kids in one-to-one and small group settings.

“You need to follow the path that is best for you! No one’s success story is the same!”

After spending the six years with the Harlem Children’s Zone agency mentoring middle school students to achieve academic success and craft plans for their future, she began to explore new ventures and grow her professional pallet. Her experience led her to become a Math STEM Specialist at Union Settlement. This is where her creative side met her academic background. She was granted the opportunity to incorporate math with fashion in order to reach her students in a way that was appealing to students.

Patreecha credits her time at CFES as an altering point in her life. It was here that her passion was reignited as she states, “The most exciting moment for me was the work I did with CFES as a Junior Program Director working with Wadleigh Seniors. It brought me back to a time where I knew what I wanted to do!” The desire to help those who follow the steps she has already taken. It goes to show the power mentoring has, not just on mentees, but also mentors.

A consistent figure in her life continues to not only be her parents but also one of her mentors. Patreecha’s mother as well as all school aid, play a vital role in her overall success.

Through her experience with CFES granted her the opportunity to become a Program Aide at the Stanley Isaacs Center. She had the responsibilities of overseeing after-school and night programs. She took it a step further and through the program became a certified Zumba Instructor. Currently she holds a position with the Department of Education as a Paraprofessional. Throughout her journey she has always believed that “you need to follow the path that is best for you! No one’s success story is the same!”