Mentee Spotlight: Ruben from Lincoln Heights

From Fighting Bullying to Becoming a Special Education Teacher

Ruben, Lincoln Heights
BS in Kinesiology, California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, Class of 2021
MS in Kinesiology, California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, Class of 2023
Professional Aspiration: Special Education Teacher 
My name is Ruben and I am a graduate of the mentorship program that was formerly known as Connect Lincoln Heights and is now called Mentor For Change. Currently, I am a Credential and Kinesiology Master’s program student at California Polytechnic Humboldt. There, I am on track to become a Special Education teacher through which I aspire to be a mentor to young people who need support to become the best individuals they can be.

During one of the biggest changes and crossroads of my life, my experience in Mentor For Change was a huge influence in deciding what I wanted to do with my future and how I wanted to make an impact. When I applied to become a mentee, I remember at the time that I wanted to become a lawyer or an architect, so that is what I was most looking forward to learning about. This led to the opportunity of meeting my one-on-one mentor Paul, who was a lawyer.
Ruben, Abraham Lincoln High School Graduation, Class of 2017
 I got the chance to learn about his career, what his day looked like at work, information about higher education, and more. Together we had a chance to create and implement a program within a local elementary school that focused on the effects of bullying and strategies for dealing with bullying. At the graduation banquet, my community service project was selected as the most impactful for that cohort so I was awarded a $2,000 scholarship for my college career, which allowed me to purchase a laptop – that is with me still to this day. 

Mentor For Change brought together a group of mentees and mentors in a unique community that fostered important conversations, provided great opportunities to learn about diverse career paths, shared resources, and helped mentees to establish our first professional networks. Through this unique community, I learned about careers and skills for job hunting, received practical help to pursue higher education, and learned about myself.
Ruben, Abraham Lincoln High School Graduation, Class of 2017
Ruben with other mentees during his summer break from college 
Ruben (first row, center), a member of the first mentee cohort in 2014-2015, at mentorship program graduation banquet with Founder/Executive Director Steven Yu and other founding Board Members 
  Ruben, California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, Class of 2021
Moreover, even years after I graduated from the mentorship program, the life principles I developed through Mentor For Change greatly influenced my decision to pursue a career in Special Education. Being mentored allowed me to experience the long-term impact of mentorship on a young individual’s life. Consequently, I aspire to be a mentor for other young individuals, especially for those who need more support to access academic opportunities and successfully transition from high school. Mentor For Change did that for me, and now I will do so for future generations. 

Give Today to Impact the Future

With the help of your 100% tax-deductible donation, we can equip the next generation of youths with the relationships, knowledge, tools, and support to fund and implement their dreams. 

Note: to avoid additional fees please select "other" in the tip field and enter "0"
 Mentor for Change is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity (Federal Tax ID: 46-3912101)
2241 N. Eastern Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90032