Miguel Fittoria, M.S.
Born and raised in East Palo Alto to a mother from Mexico and a father from Nicaragua, Miguel is a member of the first class of Spanish Immersion students in PAUSD, graduating from Palo Alto High School in 2008. At the University of Rochester, Miguel double-majored in Political Science and Psychology and stayed on to complete an M.S. in Human Development from the Warner School of Education. As a graduate student, Miguel coordinated research projects involving close to 2,000 subjects, doing bio-behavioral data analyses on adolescents and their two parent figures, also studying peer relationships, family relationships, and neurological and biological correlates of dyadic and triadic relationships within families. His own thesis work addressed the experiences of children in voluntary transfer programs (“VTP”) similar to the one that brought him to PAUSD as a student.
While Miguel is eager to apply his data analysis and research skills to customizing DreamCatchers’ academic support for individual students, he is particularly jazzed to again work directly with teenagers and their families, as he had during his summers as a camp counselor and aide. A restorer of several of his own classic cars over the course of the last 15 years and a self-taught coder, Miguel plans to use hands-on building and experimentation to spark that same brand of enthusiasm for self-starter problem-solving in all of our DreamCatchers boys and girls. A graduate of Foundation for a College Education’s high school program, Miguel is the first to acknowledge the critical role that parents and mentors played in his own development. Recognizing the need for a multi-faceted approach to tackling the opportunity gap, Miguel plans to fortify DreamCatchers’ systems of support for our volunteer tutor/mentors and our under-resourced families. DreamCatchers and Miguel — a match made in heaven.