Student Spotlight: Petra

PetraPetra Avelar is a bright, spunky 7th grader at St. Lawrence who is in her second year with OP. Her sister, Destiny, is also an OP scholar. She lives with Destiny, their mother, and their brother in Nickerson Gardens Housing Development. Before participating in OP, Petra was a part of the Urban Compass program, and recommended as a student by Officer Coughlin who patrols Nickerson. At first she may seem shy, but getting to know Petra means getting to know her funny side.

Petra is a very responsible, kind, honest student who has incredible work ethic. She earns good grades and is involved in many of the OP Pillar Programs. Petra’s love for horseback riding has flourished through our Horse Program. She attends every Saturday, and plans to compete in an equestrian horse competition in the near future. She also loves anything having to do with art, and is enjoying our newly implemented middle school art program.



She also notes that St. Lawrence is a place she is grateful for. In an interview from December 2014, in The Tidings, she mentions “They’re not going to give up on you like they did at [my last public school]. Here they try to help you get a better grade and stuff.” She also mentions the importance of OP as a second family for her. Living in a neighborhood where she rarely feels safe, and having previously dealt with bullying in school, she knows that she can now count on her LAPD mentors, peers at school, and other adult role models, to be there for her.

Petra’s mother’s dream for her is that she will become “a lawyer or the first Mexican-American woman president of the United States.” Petra also hopes to become a lawyer in the future, and knows that it will take hard work and perseverance. But no matter what Petra might choose as her career path, we know she will be successful.