Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

Sipriano Badillo – 2018 Third Place Middle School Essay Winner

IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program – 2018 Essay Contest

Sipriano Badillo

7th Grade, Memorial Middle School, La Joya ISD, Texas

The Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program is not just a normal class that pays you to attend. It changes lives and even the coldest of hearts. I honestly thought I was going to change my tutees, but I guess I was wrong, because they changed me.

This program changed my personal life and my life at school. I was not supposed to be in this program. However, I was one of the 16 students out of the 240 seventh graders from Memorial Middle School that was lucky to be chosen to be in this very awesome program. This has really benefited my family because my family struggles financially. Sometimes there is nothing in the refrigerator. I have three sisters and two brothers. Sometimes there is nothing to eat. With the paychecks that this very awesome program has given me, I get to put some food on the table for my family and me. This makes me really very proud of how I can contribute to my family!

Since I became a tutor, I started to feel a very strong love for young children. This impacted my personal life because my little brother and I would constantly fight, but not anymore. This changed the relationship between my little brother and me. The Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program is magic! It has transformed me into a stronger person. This opportunity is not for everyone who attends this middle school. I am just an ordinary boy who goes to school, does homework, eats, takes showers, and now my life has made a massive change because of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program. I love going to the elementary school, because it brings so many memories from years ago when I used to attend that same elementary.

I am looking forward to giving more and more of me, to become a way better tutor than what I already am. I don’t know what I could have done if I was not one of the lucky ones who was chosen to attend the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program. Thank You Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program for changing my life! Keep changing lives because that is what this program does best.


See color highlights flier for 2018 (pdf).

See the booklet with all the winning essays from 2018 (pdf).

The Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, created by IDRA, is an internationally-recognized cross-age tutoring program. According to the Valued Youth creed, all students are valuable, none is expendable. The lives of more than 718,000 children, families and educators have been positively impacted by the program.