By Marybel Rodriguez


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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – At the Latin Builders Association Academy, it’s all about learning today and leading tomorrow.

“The LBA Academy is a business marketing, engineering, construction school. There are 150 students, it is partnered with the Latin Builders Association. I’ve been the principal here for two years now and I am very proud to be the principal here,” said Jennifer Jaynes, the school’s principal.

When Jennifer Jaynes became principal in 2017, the LBA Academy, a charter school in Hialeah Gardens, had little to no resources for teachers and students and there was no parental involvement.

Soon after however, that all began to change with help and mentoring from the Council for Educational Change and the Latin Builders Association who opened the school in 2012.

“It takes a village to make this work. It takes our governing board and it takes our directors to provide the backing that’s required for Jenny to properly educate the students,” said Eric Montes de Oca.

Eric Montes de Oca is the current president of the LBA and has been by Mrs. Jaynes every step of the way.

He has been able to guide her on the business of running an excellent school.

“The best advice is to listen and give the students the opportunity. That’s what the school is about, paying it forward to give the students the opportunity not only to graduate and move on to college but its giving them the training and the mentorship while in high school to give them the opportunity to go right into the workforce upon graduation, if they choose not to go to college,” said Montes de Oca.

It’s with Eric’s expert advice and her love for education that Mrs. Jaynes is providing all of her students with endless opportunities for a brighter future.

“There’s many kids that leave school not knowing where to go, what to do, and she’s providing networking, luncheons, many things for students, many possibilities. I’m a first generation and it helps a lot,” said student Marvin Etienne.

But it’s that help that Mrs. Jaynes says she is able to offer thanks to all the guidance and support she is being given.

“It’s made me confident I feel stronger as a person a leader. When I come in here I know I have the support of the LBA, I know that I can open many doors of opportunities for my students. So I have defiantly grown I’ve defiantly learned and that’s what leadership is all about.  Growing and being the best everyday,” said Jaynes.

If you are a mentor and would like to share your story with us, please email us at mentoringmatters@cbs.com.

Click here for more Mentoring Matters.

Marybel Rodriguez

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