This National Mentoring Month, we're highlighting the mentors that have supported us—and Dreamers—in our trajectories to and through college and career, and in navigating the challenges and successes along the way. Did you know that young people with a mentor are 55% more likely to enroll in college?
Katie Miranda-Bañuelos and Michelle Madera-Bañuelos are cousins in the Records-Rainaldi Class of 2018 in Denver, CO. If anything, they are more like sisters. Both Dreamers were matched with mentors in the 6th grade. While they didn't know it at the time they would develop incredibly meaningful and lasting relationships with their mentors. As seniors in high school, both Michelle and Katie are still extremely close with their mentors today
When Michelle describes how she feels about her mentor she says, "My mother and I feel like Ms. Lindsay is a guardian angel sent to us. Since the first day she has done a lot of really nice things to support me and my family. Ms. Lindsay has always been there for us." Michelle thinks of Ms.Lindsay as part of her family. Some of her favorite activities to do with Ms.Lindsay include cooking together, hanging out each others houses, and getting a chance to try new things that she would have never done on her own. Michelle has said that she feels incredibly grateful that Ms. Lindsay has set up a personal tutor for her, organized swim lessons, and even supported Michelle during her quinceañera. Michelle still remembers the day that, upon finding out her mother didn't know how to swim, Ms. Lindsay provided swim lessons for her mother so that they could learn together! Michelle is grateful to have Ms. Lindsay in her life and doesn't know where she would be with out her motivation, support, and love over the past 7 years.
When Katie was asked about her mentor, Ms. Linda, she had this to say: "Ms. Linda has been part of our family for so long that it's weird to think about our family without her. She has always been there for us and has pushed me to be a better person, supported my family, and made sure I was able to try new things. When she found out how expensive my quinceañera was going to be she organized a garage sale with items she gathered from her friends and family and donated the money to our family. My favorite thing about Ms. Linda is how she attends our family events. I've always loved cooking and doing homework with her." Katie can recall all the times that Ms. Linda has showed up to support her when she is performing, receiving awards, and has events for school.
It is difficult to list every way that Ms. Linda and Ms. Lindsay have supported Katie and Michelle over the years because the have done so much! The Colorado "I Have a Dream" Foundation is incredibly grateful for the dedication, guidance, support, and love that Ms. Linda and Ms. Lindsay have shown their mentees since the 6th grade! Thank you for everything you continue to do to support Katie and Michelle.