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#PREPpeople: Jesús Colón '09
Posted 09/13/2019 04:22PM

Jesus ColonHOMETOWN: “Caguas, Puerto Rico, but I grew up in Lawrence, Massachusetts.”

EDUCATION: Diploma, St. John’s Prep; B.S. Computer Science Information Technology, Merrimack College

YEARS AT ST. JOHN’S: “14 years total. Six years as a working professional, four years of high school, and I was a counselor at Camp Christopher for some of high school and all four years of college.”

ROLE: “I am a help desk specialist, which means I wear many hats!”

FUN FACT: “I like to cook. I’ve been cooking since I was 11 or 12, experimenting and making weird concoctions that weren’t always edible when I was younger. I recently made a Japanese dish that’s eaten a lot in Hawaii. It’s called Spam Musubi and it’s made of sushi, rice, spam, and seaweed, and the Spam gets marinated. It was delicious! What inspired me to make it was that David Gadbot brought it in one time and I loved it. I like to pick dishes from different cultures around the world and see if I can make it. I’m known for my chili but I also make a lot of Hispanic food, too, like rice and beans or rice and gandules. When I was younger, my dad did all the cooking. I think watching him and watching the Food Network really inspired me to jump into cooking.”

DESCRIBE A TEACHER WHO INSPIRED YOU GROWING UP: “Señora Pasquarello and Señora Witwicki. They both were Spanish teachers at the Prep and have since retired. They were part of the founding members of Latinos Unidos en Acción (L.U.N.A.) and were always there to help and guide us. They made me feel comfortable, which was probably the most important thing when coming to a new place that was very different from where I’m from.”

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO WORK AT A SCHOOL FOR A LIVING?: “I really like people, which is funny because I can be jokingly sarcastic sometimes. But I enjoy helping others, most of all. Working within this community in particular, everyone is so nice and really willing to listen to one another. There’s a nice diversity of thought. The students also know that they’re going to get help from me if they have a question or problem. They respect me and I respect them.”

WHAT EXPERIENCE OUTSIDE OF ST. JOHN’S INFORMS YOUR WORK WITH STUDENTS AT THE PREP?: “Tutoring at Bellisini Academy. I get to know them from when I meet them in fifth grade, before they come to St. John’s. When they arrive, I’m able to be a source of comfort since I’ve known them for so many years. Many of them will come talk to me throughout the school year and I’m glad that I can be that person for somebody. Another thing that informs my work at the Prep is baseball! I coach freshman baseball at the Prep and I enjoy watching these student-athletes improve over the course of the season.”

WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE EVERY DAY?: “They are sponges. They pick up instruction so quickly! These kids look to you for guidance and they really listen. The norm here is for students who are eager to learn and are not afraid to stop you and ask for help. It’s nice to be in a position to positively impact someone.”

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