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Mentoring Matters: Triumph Steps Help Students Become Empowered, Creative & Socially Responsible

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - You can do whatever you want if you put your heart and mind into it. That is just one of the many powerful messages the students at Bright Future School of Excellence in Miami are taught.

Beatriz Martinez-Penalver is a licensed psychotherapist with over 25 years of experience and has made it her mission to make emotional literacy an integral part in education.

"It's when our brain is being formally developed when we are programming ourselves so we want to make sure these children get the right thought patterns early on so they don't develop self-defeating behaviors later in life," said Martinez-Penalver, founder of Triumph Steps.

Through her knowledge and education, Beatriz created Triumph Steps a program designed to help students become empowered, creative and socially responsible.

"Happiness is a skill and it can be learned so therefore it can be taught. I always say schools have forgotten to teach children how to be happy," said Martinez-Penalver.

Toni Rice is one of Beatriz's many counselors and mentees who visits several schools a week teaching students how to be the best they can be.

"It's vital absolutely important in schools. We teach our children science, math, and reading but don't give them the tools to be emotionally happy so it will help them grow," said Toni Rice, Triumph Steps counselor.

The students are taught to be happy and grow into confident and caring adults.

"She has taught me to be kind, help others and she told me if other need help always say yes," said student Anthony Cox.

Beatriz is convinced that happiness is a skill that can be taught and learned by mentoring students, teachers, and parents one school at a time.

As of now Triumph Steps is in 10 schools in Miami-Dade County. Her goal is to make it part of the curriculum on a national level.

On Saturday, October 12th at South Point Elementary on Miami Beach from 9:30 a.m.-noon, Beatriz will be teaching Triumph Steps to parents.

If you would like to attend the workshop you can sign up on their Facebook page Triumph Steps.

If you are a mentor and would like to share your story with us, please email us at

Click here for more Mentoring Matters.

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