The fall has brought a number of new faces to Kid City. There are many new high school seniors who have been brought to Kid City by their peers and also a new group of 20 mentors who are either USC students, alumni, or professionals working or living in downtown Los Angeles. One of our mentors, Ricardo Trejo (referred by board member Marcus Tanimoto), was the first in his family to go to college and wants to be a mentor in order help a student like himself who does not know how to navigate the college application process.
The mentors meet with one or two high school seniors once a week and discuss their college choices, help them with their college applications and personal statements, and give them life and career advice. In addition to the immediate help, the students are learning life lessons about giving back to their community. Sarah Rodriguez(at left), after receiving help from several volunteers and staff on Thursday said, "I totally want to come back and give back to the younger kids at Kid City."
Additionally, College Prep for Seniors class (at left) is held each Tuesday at Kid City as a supplement to the mentor program and also to assist students who do not have mentors. Staff intern Alexa Enamorado, CSULA graduate student, leads the class with the help of Laura Cuellar. The class fosters peer discussions regarding college and encourages them to share resources with each other in order to create a larger learning community.
Introducing Katherine Lopez, Social Work Intern
Another great addition to Kid City this Fall is Katherine Lopez, an intern from USC’s School of Social Work. Katherine meets individually with students who need extra emotional and mental support and each Monday holds a group meeting that focuses on stress management activities and issues like how to handle grief. Katherine even volunteered as head security officer at Ultreya! — before her internship had begun! As an added bonus, Kid City staff meets weekly with Katherine and her supervisor, Sandra Hill-Glover (faculty at School of Social Welfare at USC, Holman UMC member, and board member of Holman CDC) to review individual cases and receive professional development.