"Effective programs are nourished
by positive attitudes, respectful
environments, determined actions,
high standards, and attainable
Sister Jennie Lechtenberg, SNJM, turned her passion for teaching and devotion to children into a success story that any corporate CEO would envy. After serving as a teacher and administrator at local elementary and junior high schools for 30 years, Sister Jennie founded the nationally and internationally renowned PUENTE Learning Center in 1985 and continues to serve as its Executive Director. Sister Jennie broke new ground with PUENTE, a multi-generational learning center for children and adults, which provides need-specific educational instruction to more than 3,000 economically and educationally disadvantaged students each day. This amazingly effective teaching program with centers in East and South Los Angeles has a near perfect success rate with the high school students it serves. Sister Jennie is widely regarded as a pioneer in family literacy and broadly heralded as a compassionate community leader. Her views and strategies have been sought out by presidents, mayors and even the Prince of Wales. For Sister Jennie, it is the thousands of children who have been helped by PUENTE that matter most.