Abdiel Dominguez has found a home at CHICAT. Abdiel started coming to CHICAT’s ASM (After School Matters) programs in the Fall of 2020 and has not missed a session since.
He is now a junior at UIC College Prep and has done 4 sessions in CHICAT’s Design Lab and 1 session in CHICAT’s Maker Lab. It is clear Abdiel has learned a tremendous amount from his experience at CHICAT, but it impossible to get him to talk about CHICAT without him mentioning how CHICAT has allowed him to be himself.
When asked “What have you learned at CHICAT?” Abdiel didn’t immediately answer that he has learned how to sculpt clay, or code, or create a self-portrait – but he has learned all of those things here. What he does say, without hesitation, is “There are people that are just like me. They have the same interests. I don’t have to pretend to be somebody I’m not. I can be myself.”
Abdiel also points out that he has made new friends here and again speaks on how he feels allowed to be his true self in our programs.
Abdiel will be back for our summer programs, and while he will learn more design techniques from our Design Lab instructor, Kristen, he will be also be learning and teaching something just as important – especially for teens – you can be your true self and still make friends.