b'JULY 2020Youth Face COVID-19 with Strength and Resilience Getting through the 2020 school year, local students faced several barriers. Lost classroom time, lost time with friends, and lost hours trying to connect to Zoom classes with spotty internet. Edgard Cervantes was one of many students who went through many of these challenges. The 17-year-old high school junior, then a sophomore, had no Wi-Fi at home. So, hed ride his bike down the road to Puente, which has public Wi-Fi through the San Mateo County Digital Inclusion Initiative, and worked on his laptop at a table under a tree. I would do my best to pay attention in class when there were cars passing by. Also, the tree I sat under had a lot of bees all the time. Or the birds would be chirping really loud, he recalls. The routine continued that summer when he joined Puentes youth program, which offered a full slate of paid Edgard on his laptop during his zoom sessions, skill-building opportunities, most online, as well as a fewunder a tree in front of the Puente office.in person. Edgard also had an internship with local artistEdgard en su computadora porttil durante and photographer, Susan Friedman. Through it all, Edgardsus sesiones de zoom, debajo de un rbol kept his grades up. Fortunately, Edgard hadfrente a la oficina de Puente. Puente, his school, his family and his community to support him during these uncertain times.South Coast youth had their worlds turned upside down, 15and they have demonstrated extraordinary strength and scholarships wereresilience. Puentes education team found various creative distributed to collegeways to check in with youth: through offering tutoring, students during theconnecting them to mental health services and more. pandemic for a total of $50,000.4'