by Madel Beaudouin
In the beginning, I must admit I was quite unsure of this mentoring program. Well, not really. I was quite unsure of myself. Even though I’m very good at hiding it, the thought of public speaking subjects me to a sweat that induces mental panic attack, accompanied with uncontrollable leg shaking and a horrible sense of direction. I figured my saving grace for being a terrible mentor was that I would never find the building in the first place. But as I arrived (to the correct building), my anxiety dissipated. I guess I felt nervous because I wasn’t sure what I could contribute; whether it would be too little or too much. However, I had realized that it wasn’t necessarily about me but it was about the we; the combination of the mentors and the mentees. It was about the climate we created; a climate of support, inspiration, and fun. Even though I was a mentor, I was personally humbled by my mentee’s determination and self respect. When Claudia invited mentors and mentees to participate in a panel conformed by female professors to speak about their hardships and triumphs, my immediate thought was: wow, this is why I go to college. It made all the all nighters and caffeine runs worthwhile. I believe that these kinds of experiences are what make a real college experience necessary. These experiences come rare, and you often must be ready to engage yourself in something bigger than you to find them. But when you find them, it’s your duty to soak up each and every second.
So why Latinas on the Verge of Excellence? Well, because mentorship places LOVE as a priority along with learning.