Helpers arrived at my door August 4 at exactly three o’clock bearing platters of watermelon, homemade cookies, cheese, chips, dips and cupcakes and stepped right in to set up for the first ever Drew Silvern Dollars for Scholars Migrant Education Fund SUNDAY SOCIAL specially arranged for scholarship recipients to meet each other, the Board members and accomplished adults who had volunteered to be their mentors through their college years.
Many of the scholarship recipients arrived soon after. We were all a little shy at first. Name tags and introductions were needed before we started the ice breaker games. People Bingo got everyone out of their chairs and looking for someone with gray hair, or someone who knew how to salsa dance. MLou Guzman was the first to fill the page and be declared the winner.
Before anyone could return to their seat, they were asked to form a line starting with Jeri Vargas who lives across the street and came the shortest distance to Catherine Bramhall who traveled from Oxnard and may have tied with Nellie Barrientos from Cucamonga.
We finished mixing with a game of finding the match-up to a song lyric cut in half. Some of our retired school administrators surprised us with their renditions of Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Justin Bieber’s One Time. Thanks to Carole Rosner for mixing old Sinatra favorites with Britney Spears and more mod tunes.
Finally we all gathered on the patio with plates of goodies to hear Rebecca Leach who had been awarded a Dollars scholarship as a Foster youth in San Diego several years ago, speak about the encouragement she received from a mentor with her since high school. Now she told us, she is enjoying being a mentor to Gardenia Benecio, a young college student.
The best part of the afternoon, was seeing the student/mentor pairs getting to know more about each other, exchanging information about their backgrounds and hobbies and writing down phone numbers and E-mail addresses.
We wanted to assure the group of hopeful young students that besides the financial grant we provided them, we also want to offer moral support and assistance through an important period in their lives.
There were warm embraces and expressions of gratitude from the students as they left with a gift of a book light and wishes for a very successful year in college.