Frances Melchor is in our volunteer spotlight today!
Can you please tell us about your background (work/education/hobbies, etc. whatever you'd like to share)?
I currently work for a non-profit called Alliance College Ready Public schools as a College Success Coordinator where I support high school counselors in ensuring that their seniors apply and matriculate into colleges and where I lead a mentoring program at the college level. I graduated from UCLA last September with a major in Latin American Studies and minor in Comparative Literature. Recently, I've been reading a lot more books since I have the time and it is one of my favorite things in the world to do. I'm currently finishing up "The Hate U Give" and will be starting on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's "Americanah".
How did you hear about the volunteer opportunities at Kid City?
I have been actively involved with Kid City since my senior year of high school, where I was a mentee. Since then, and due to staying very close for college, I have been able to come back multiple times and help with many things. Oftentimes, I look at what is needed through the facebook group, but I am also in constant communication with Laura so she lets me know of opportunities.
What activities do you assist with at Kid City?
I'm currently a part of the mentoring program at Kid City and my mentee is Heather Solis.
What inspired you to start volunteering?
When I saw that it was mentor recruitment season for Kid City, I decided to sign up because I knew how important the one-on-one attention was for me and how much it helped me out during senior year. I stay updated with volunteer opportunities at Kid City because I always love coming back and helping, knowing that my support will help the students that are participants of Kid City.
What do you enjoy most about mentoring students at Kid City?
I really enjoy being able to talk to students about their future goals and aspirations. It's always nice hearing that they want to do all sorts of great things in life even after they have struggled as young adults. I love interacting with all the students because they brighten my day with their jokes. Sometimes, I come out of work extremely mentally and emotionally drained, but as soon as I hear the students, I get my energy back. I really love the vibes at Kid City! In particular with my mentee, I have really enjoyed seeing her grow within the last few months. She reminds me so much of how I was in high school (kind of intense!) and I have been so happy being the one to be.
Do you have any words of wisdom to share with the rest of us?
There will be many times when obstacles will come between you and reaching success. But you've made it this far, right? If you have gone all these years with overcoming everything you have, then you can push through any obstacle life throws at you. There will be endless things coming up from here on out, it doesn't always get easier, but you have the strength. Just keep asking for help!
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