Mentee Spotlight: Erin from Lincoln Heights

My Mentor Always Steered Me Back On Track

Erin, Lincoln Heights
BS in Biology, CSULA, Class of 2023
Professional Aspiration: Pharmacist  
Mentor For Change has been a useful resource in my transition from being a junior to a senior in high school and then from being a high school senior to a college student. The mentorship that I received and continue to receive has helped me in diverse ways. The MFC staff members are more like our friends. School is difficult and sometimes our environment can cause us to feel like we are all alone, but I am delighted that I was able to reach out to the MFC coaches who comforted me and showed me that though life is never easy, it can get better as I keep moving forward. I have also grown more spiritually though that’s not the mentorship program’s central focus.

When I was preparing for the college application, admissions and financial aid process, it was incredibly challenging, but in retrospect. 
It was a great experience because I got all my work done with the help of my mentor who is a kind human being going above and beyond for her students to do well in life.  I am grateful for the many personal growth experiences I’ve had through MFC: going to the Museum of Tolerance and learning from an actual Holocaust survivor, personalized tutorials that ran late into the night to perfect my college application essays and overall writing skills for professional correspondence, support studying for my pharmacy technician certification course, guidance in preparing personal statements and references for scholarship applications, resources for community service opportunities, receiving guidance on how to conduct research for my honors college thesis, and, more recently, graduate school admissions counseling. 
Erin at Chemistry Lab at her university, 2022
Overall, I have felt affirmed and empowered knowing there were people rooting for me to succeed in my journey to become not only a pharmacist but also an Army officer. Sometimes I would procrastinate; however, my mentor always steered me back on track, reminding me of what I really want for my future. I will always say I’m proud to be a part of this blessed program and hope to one day be a mentor to someone else who is right where I started because a true act of kindness goes a long way.


– an original poem composed by Erin in honor 
of Mentor For Change Changemaker Event on 8/28/21

Change is constant
Whether by my choice or another’s
In childhood, I could not choose the changes that came -- one by one
A home lost, a family undone
It hurts to fall down the scales of life
Hurtling downwards, without a net
It hurts to be embarrassed and dismissed as just another ghetto kid
Perceived as another sad statistic
Is the world naturally evil?
Shall I succumb to that Hobbesian view?
Fathers leave, brothers flounder
Families quarrel and fall apart
The past cannot lead me
I choose a different path
A new road rises to meet me
The World stretches out wide before me, and calls me to her
Her petals bloom
Radiant, delicate, like an orchid
I water her with just the right care
I watch over her and provide shade for her to rest,
light for her to grow
I rise with her at dawn
She calls out to me and shows me
I am not a ghetto kid
I don’t have a ghetto mind
I am a seeker, empath, and humanitarian
I am more than enough
And I will be the first
The first in my family to earn a university degree
The first to live independently --
by my own labor, by my own hand, in my own home
The first to take care of my own
Change is constant
But now I have choices
I swim against the tide to direct the flow of that change -- one by one
A mother honored, a sister encouraged, a family nourished
I am the first
I am the Change I hoped for
I will nourish my charges like orchids
They will bloom into an arsenal of Changemakers
Change is constant
Now, I choose the direction
I lean in and steady myself to move --
Infinitely, Onward!

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