Sister Act

These girls go to the head of the class.

When reading assessments are conducted again this June, Choksi expects the scores to rise even higher. She's already sought funding to continue the program next year, hoping to eventually expand it to include parents who have trouble reading. "We created this from scratch," Choksi says. "And it's only gotten better."

Although Esperanza and Estephania are proud of what Project Literacy has done for younger students, they haven't stopped collecting honors of their own. This year, they've made mostly A's and B's, and Estephania even won the Colorado Youth Citizenship Award. Both plan to apply for another grant some day, but at the moment it's all they can do to maintain their GPAs, help their parents around the house, supervise their crew at YouthBiz -- where they've become team leaders -- and keep their eyes on the prize.

"I want to be a lawyer," Esperanza says. "Like, I really, really, really want to be a lawyer."

"Me too," says Estephania. "Really bad."

The sisters have no idea what kind of law they'd like to practice, but they know this: When they hang out their Chavez & Chavez shingle, it will be in the Cole neighborhood.

"I don't want to move," Esperanza says. "I know the good and the bad here. I want to help."

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