I joined MOSTE in the fall of 2010, and was initially matched with 7th-grader Jocelyne Santos. As the year progressed, we began including her friend Manuela Rodriguez, whose mentor hadn’t worked out. I took Manuela on officially in spring 2011. Having two scholars makes for a bit more driving, but a lot more giggling, too.
Together we’ve enjoyed seeing A Midsummer Nights’ Dream in Topanga Canyon, going to the Museum of Tolerance, and packing boxes for Operation Gratitude, among many other experiences.
It’s been an additional pleasure to become friends with my amazing fellow mentors. In fact, several of us will be traveling together to Peru this spring. I am now advising Manuela as she becomes a counselor at Taking the Reins, an equestrian program in Griffith Park, and exploring options for summer STEM programs with Jocelyne. I am beyond proud when I see how confident and articulate both girls have become, and grateful to have been able to connect them with opportunities.
I’ve also been pleased to see the MOSTE program evolve since I began volunteering. We now have the support of a full-time program manager who develops strong curricula for the workshops, keeps the girls aware of goals and expectations, and actively seeks out new experiences for them to learn and enjoy.
MOSTE has become an extremely satisfying and rewarding part of my life. I feel great knowing that I’m helping to support Los Angeles’ next generation of college-educated women.