February is the shortest month of the year; this semester, it also felt like the fastest. For me, February was a month of beginning new projects and building bonds. I have two new endeavors I have recently taken on for this semester. The first is through Linfield’s LCLA Program. I am a mentor in this program that aims to facilitate college life for first year Latino students. After brainstorming with the group, many of us agreed we needed to continue to give back to the community. Therefore, we decided to begin by building a partnership with the Culturas Unidas Club at McMinnville High School. This high school club aims to bridge cross-culturally and develop its members’ skill sets. We knew LCLA could help them with their goals so we reached out to them and offered our time as mentors.
Through this project we hope to build relationships with our mentees and make an impact in their lives. We hope to motivate them not just academically but personally as well. Our most recent step in the process took me to the high school to help facilitate a discussion with the high school students about their expectations of a mentor. They discussed their desires to participate in more activities and events such as forming soccer teams. I know many of these students are in need; they have unlimited potential but just need some encouragement, guidance or a helping hand. I hope that our developing project will continue long past my years at Linfield, allowing more youth to be empowered to fight for their futures.
While this LCLA mentoring program has been a very exciting process, I have also been given the opportunity to partake in a second venture. For this semester, I will also be tutoring high school students to develop their math skills. This job will be much like the work I do with the Upward Bound program just geared more specifically to one subject. I’m interested to see how I will grow from the experience but I’m particularly looking forward to meeting the students I will be working with. I want to meet them so I can learn how to better help them beyond just the equations. My hope is that I can contribute to making the learning experience fun for them, something they can look forward to. With both these projects, we plan to build an academic confidence in the students that will follow them past the classroom doors and far beyond the school’s walls.