“I always knew I wanted to go to college," says Deisy Gonzalez, a 2012 graduate of Gertz-Ressler High School. "I thought it would be hard and was fearful of what to expect."
Growing up in the Pico-Union area as a first-generation aspiring college student, Deisy didn’t always have the guidance she needed from her parents to prepare for college.
Fortunately, in 2008 she was matched with her mentor Pamela Heath, who says the Fulfillment Fund did “a remarkable job in suitably matching me with my mentee Deisy.”
“The goal from our first meeting was to help my student gain a broader vista of vocations and career choices in a fun way," Pamela explains. "It became very clear that Deisy was an exceptional student. Many of our meetings concentrated on scientific and cultural visits to institutions which are both of our interests as well as just seeing scary movies--something Deisy got me to do with her!--and just checking in over brunches to prepare for her college endeavors.”
For Deisy, the Fulfillment Fund has also helped with college fairs, overnight college visiting trips and other supports.
"They give me resources, new ideas, help with college applications and scholarships," Deisy says. "Pamela has always been there too, with letters of recommendation and offering me a break from all the work. She has been a mentor and a friend.”
For Pamela, mentoring has been a rewarding opportunity as well. "It has helped me to appreciate the career and college choices I made for myself, in addition to guiding Deisy," she says. "I hope that anyone considering mentoring pursues it because there are MANY students in need of your efforts.”
Deisy, who will attend UC Irvine in fall 2012, hopes to pursue a career in engineering and continue her friendship with Pamela, a feeling that Pamela shares.
Their experience has been so special and significant that Deisy says she would like to become a mentor one day herself.