Every student deserves the opportunity to pursue their dreams with their career paths. Some students lack the mentors needed to inspire them to dream bigger. I am encouraging schools across the state to invite business men and women to speak to their students. Additionally, students should also have the opportunity to spend time with businesses in the 9th grade. Students need to see firsthand how people are helping people in their businesses. Students should already be thinking about what subjects they like best and how they can help others. When you bridge both of these together, this will provide a list of potential jobs to serve others and to provide for your family in the future. I would like to develop a list of organizations across New Mexico who are already mentoring and trying to encourage students to pursue higher education and/or searching for a career. If you are aware of such organizations, please send them my way for me to post.
I can recall when I was in the 4th grade, we had a high school student that would volunteer in our class and help us with our math. He was so positive and well liked by all. He served as a role model for me and as a mentor of sorts encouraging me to study hard. I wish I could recall his name, but he looked like he could have been an older brother or relative of mine. When students see older students achieving success this serves as motivation for them, particularly when mentored by them. This type of energy needs to be channeled to help the next generation of students where high school students mentor elementary students. People mentoring people is key.
I have had numerous mentors including some amazing teachers over the years. I can recall most of my elementary and high school teachers’ names. Why is this? These people are the epitome of great mentors-people who cared about my success.
Chaparral Elementary School, Albuquerque, NM 1976-79
Kindergarten: taking naps and eating snacks on a mat
1st Grade: Mrs. Garcia (My mom was an assistant)-likely because she wanted to be with me.
2nd Grade: Mrs Hawkins (all 3 of my older brothers also had her too). She was my favorite teacher. She treated you like you were one of her grandchildren, very caring. She was missing a finger, of course we had many stories as to how she lost her finger.
Emerson Elementary School, Albuquerque, NM 1979
3rd grade: Mrs Ressman, Cat-eyed glasses and travelled to Japan and came back to school sharing all about her traveling experiences and opened my mind about the world. I loved the smell of report cards (carbon copy type paper) likely because I thought I did well. I was invited to test for an honors program this year and was at this point in my life that I felt like I was smart. This summer was also critical because we spent an enormous amount of our summer in the library reading books. My mom encouraged us to read while my dad encouraged us to work hard and practice our manners and penmanship.
Cloverland Elementary School, Oakdale, CA 1980-83
4th Grade: Mr. Lewis and Mrs. Klink This was the year I realized that I was good at math.
5th Grade: Mrs. French She loved me and inspired me to work hard.
6th grade: Mr. Foley He seemed grumpy
Oakdale Junior High School, Oakdale, CA 1983-85
7th grade: This was junior high school where I had 6-7 teachers and couldn’t recall specific names
8th grade: This was junior high school where I had 6-7 teachers and couldn’t recall specific names
Oakdale High School, Oakdale, CA 1985-89
9th -12th grade: Read more in my book:
Focus on your Passion, not the Position: A Leadership Book