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Criminal Justice Student Relishes
Mentoring Two High-Schoolers
Criminal Justice major Rose
Figueroa thoroughly enjoyed
participating in the PALS program
and mentoring her "two Jasmines"
LHS students Jasmine C. and
Jasmine V.
A returning-adult student who
interrupted her own education
at a young age to raise a family,
Figueroa knows what it's like to face personal challenges that can stand in the way of
earning a college degree.
"This experience was so personally rewarding," said Figueroa. "As an adult learner,
it enabled me to provide these girls with different strategies and techniques they will
be able to utilize in the future to become academically successful."
"Helping them establish a plan, make goals, and pursue a career was the most
gratifying experience. I'm certain I have made a connection and a difference
in their lives."
Throughout fall semester, the trio regularly texted and met at various locations
around Lowell for lunch or coffee (Figueroa's treat). They would talk and work on
homework. "I helped them with transitions in their writing," said Figueroa.
They also studied the RMV Driver's Manual. "We have two main goals: Get a driver's
license and graduate from high school," she explained.
Both teens appreciate the fact that Figueroa sends them an inspirational quote
every morning. "I love that daily quote I look for it now," said 17-year-old Jasmine
V. "At first, I didn't know whether I would like having a mentor," she continued.
"But once I met Rosie wow!"
Like a proud parent, Figueroa points out that Jasmine V. now has an after-school
job, and that 18-year-old Jasmine C. plans to enroll in MCC's Nursing Program after
graduating from high school.
"She's already taking `Anatomy & Physiology' at LHS," bragged Figueroa.
"When I watch `Grey's Anatomy,' now I know what they're talking about," said
Jasmine C., laughing. "If I need anything, she's a phone call away," the teen added,
seriously. "I know I have Rosie rootin' for me."
Even though she's planning to graduate from Middlesex in May, Figueroa hopes
to keep up the relationship. "I will continue to mentor my two Jasmines. It will
be a great honor to remain in their lives until they no longer need my
assistance or support.
"These at-risk youth need to undeniably know they are not alone."
Kathy Register
covered in class, my students have seen first-
hand through PALS."
Pronovost and Pintrich outlined three goals
for the pilot: The MCC students had to mentor
an LHS student, volunteer in the outside
community, and as a group plan a PALS field
trip to the Bedford campus.
During the field trip, the college students
gave a PowerPoint presentation about
perseverance and overcoming obstacles, and
outlined the differences between high school
and college. After lunch, an MCC Admission
rep delivered an admission/enrollment/
financial aid presentation, and gave the 26
teens tours of campus.
Desrosiers and Yance led the MCC students'
main presentation during the field trip. After
sharing a list of personal challenges the
college students revealed they had faced
including bullying, alcoholism, addiction and
teen pregnancy Yance encouraged the LHS
students to stay focused and be patient.
"The situation you grow up in doesn't have
to dictate your life," she said. "You can
change it."
During the "A Day in the Life of a College
Student" segment, Desrosiers assured the
teenagers that school gets better. "College
is not like high school you're not in school
all day, every day," he said. "But you have
to finish high school in order to have the
flexibility of college."
Pintrich and Pronovost are thrilled the pilot
project was so successful and plan to continue
it. Even though the ultimate goal was to
help the LHS students get back on track and
graduate, clearly all parties had profited.
"With mentoring," said Pronovost, "everyone
benefits and everyone grows."
Kathy Register
Criminal Justice student Rose Figueroa (center) with her
"two Jasmines" LHS students Jasmine V. (left) and
Jasmine C. (right).
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