Coach Rodriguez and Mrs. Coco have both been the best mentors to me ever and they continue to do so. Not only have I dance skills from Mrs. Coco, but they both have taught me skills for college and life in general. As for my dance life, Mrs. Coco has taught me different dance techniques and their histories. To this day she continues to mentor me in the dance world. For example, she has helped me find dance studios, introduced me to many choreographers for me to gain more knowledge and learn from others as well. Her influence on me goes even further from the dance world too, she has taught me courage, discipline, to be a better leader, and most importantly how to enjoy life and live in the moment. Coach Rodriguez has also impacted my life, he gives me advice for college and life as well. He has taught me how to work diligently on any project whether it is school-related or not. I always take his advice and opinions into consideration. I have learned to manage my time more because of him. They both are amazing. What I love about both of them is they treat me like family. I have so many more things to learn from them.
Playing football for Coach Rodriguez was an amazing experience. I’ve learned a lot from him about the game of football. No coach has ever taught me so well. I remember when we would mess up in practice, he would make us run laps or bear crawl. At the time, I didn’t really understand why he was so hard on us. As an adult, I understand how he was preparing us for life. He wasn’t trying to hurt us, but make us grow as players and as a team. I don’t regret one moment of playing football for him at all. He’s always made us want to put hard work into everything we do and taught us to grind in every aspect of life, even when he wasn’t telling us to. Coach Rodriguez has motivated me at different times in my life when I wanted to give up. I’ve always thought back to our time together and thought, “Do what you have to do to get to where you want to be. Giving up isn’t an option.” Coach Rodriguez is still my friend, and I will never forget playing for him.
Rita (CoCo) Rodriguez, is such an inspirer. We met her four years ago in which my now 9-year-old daughter was 5 years old. She gave a little girl who was struggling with her self-confidence a positive message of self-love and worth that was so enduring and memorable to both me and my daughter. As I see and continue to watch my daughter grow, her words will always be with us and we will reflect that there are still loving and caring people in the world that take the time to have positive impacts on the youth and community; which is exactly what this world needs more of. CoCo, we love you and know that your passion and love will continue to cultivate the youth and community.
Rita Rodriguez is one of the best teachers I had while I was in school. She was always there whenever I had a bad day, whether it was to have me sit in her room while she had a class or have me use her room to practice or blow off steam when it was empty. Out of the 3 years of having her as my teacher, there was never a time where she made me doubt myself or left me out. Even now most of her teachings are stuck with me to this day. First off, she taught me the value of collaboration, whenever she needed help with choreography she would ask me to work with her and to brainstorm ideas and we would take our off the wall ideas and shoot them at the wall to see what sticks. She never once shot down my ideas no matter what it was, she would take them and have us do it over the song and if it worked, it stayed, and if not, we'd keep thinking. She helped me see the value that other people have if you give them a chance. Another thing she taught me was discipline and determination. Even though she could be loving, and you can usually find her making jokes when it came to practice and performing there was no way that she would let anybody do anything less than their best. She was tough and would have us practice the choreography so many times that you`d start to hate when a certain song comes on, and I would not have it any other way because by the time she would have us performing the song, we`d nail it every single time. There was no such thing as trying your best, there was either give it your best from the beginning or don't expect to perform, and that was the motivation I needed to push me not only as a dancer but as an artist in general. Had I not had her as a teacher, I would have quit on my passion years ago, but she taught me to be stubborn and to keep going. For this, and the other amazing things she`s taught me that I will carry for the rest of my life, I will always see her as my second mother.
Having Mrs. Coco as my dance teacher has been amazing! She's very professional and is always there to support me in all my dances. She encourages me to push my limits and to do my very best all the time and is super nice and caring. - Ithzel
I met Jimi Rodriquez back in August 2011. We worked together for a two-year period. It was one of the best experiences of my life. From the jump, Jimi was different. He was charismatic, confident, highly intelligent, eager, self-less, and motivated. It was a new experience for me because I never had an assistant before. Jimi excelled not only as a coach but as a math teacher as well. He always had the ability to get the best out of our students and athletes. With his help, we were able to set high standards and expectations for our athletes. We changed the culture at our school. Jimi implemented a book club for our athletes. I had never seen middle school students and athletes so eager to read novels, and books with hundreds of pages. He was able to reach our kids in ways that I could not. The following year, I made the decision to turnover over the basketball team to Jimi. He was more than ready and deserving of the position. I remember it like it was yesterday. I told Jimi to take the kids to the gym and start practice like any other day. After their usual warm-up, my point guard asked what did I want them to do next? I responded, “I don’t know why you’re asking me, he’s your coach”. I turned and walked away. The kids went bananas. They were so happy and so was I. To show my appreciation, I became his assistant coach. It was an honor. Jimi added a different dynamic to the team. They were more committed and more focused. As a coach, he demanded excellence on and off the court. He was stern, but fair. What I most admired about Jimi, was his consistent theme of family, and maintaining a high level of character. I was truly a blessing to see Jimi’s passion, dedication, and love for the team as well as the game. Jimi did an amazing job that year. The team won district and made it to the 2nd round of the playoffs.
- Coach Keys
Mrs. Rodriguez’s mentorship has had and continues to have a tremendous effect on multiple aspects of my life. As my mentor, the genuine investment she has in wanting to see me succeed in all aspects of life has no limits. To simply succeed is great, however, from the advice, coaching, mentorship, and unconditional support and love that I have received from Mrs. Rodriguez, beginning when I was her student and still to this day as I am navigating young womanhood, I have learned that while succeeding is good, my story does not have to end with simple success. She has guided me and allowed my confidence to blossom. Through her teachings both life-wise and in dancing, I have learned that success has no limitations, so not only can I and will I succeed at whatever I put the work into, but more importantly I learned that I was born to excel. I was born to not only succeed and exceed expectations but to create new expectations and standards. I understand that I can have anything and everything I want out of life and more if I simply put the work in. Words can not express how grateful and blessed I am to have Mrs. Rodriguez as a mentor.
She Inspires Me