Empowering Youth Through Education

Mikey S.

When I was growing up, I didn’t have someone to talk to about the college experience or choosing a school. It made the idea of college a little bit scary.

Thankfully, the Fulfillment Fund, and my mentor Shad, were there to help me though the process.

In the beginning when I met Shad, I was a little nervous. But now he’s basically like my big brother. We’ve gone to museums, restaurants, movies, professional soccer games, and go-kart racing. We’ve also volunteered together with the Fulfillment Fund, wrapping gifts for children and working at a food bank.

When I was in the 11th grade, I went on a weeklong trip with the Fulfillment Fund to visit eight different Northern California colleges. It really opened my eyes and helped me get a better idea of what types of schools I wanted to apply to. At the Fulfillment Fund’s Destination College event, I was able to talk to college representatives and sit in on college courses, which also helped me see which schools would work well for me and which schools wouldn’t.

During fall of my senior year, the Fulfillment Fund even sponsored a trip for me and two other students to visit Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. It was my first time on a plane, and I loved seeing all the wilderness and experiencing a change from all the concrete in Los Angeles.

My Fulfillment Fund college counselor helped me a lot with determining which schools would be realistic and good choices for me. Shad took me to the college counseling sessions. With their help, I applied to 30 schools—all over the country—and I got into good ones, so I was really happy with the choices I had.

My mentor is a great inspiration to me.  I want to be a Fulfillment Fund mentor when I’m older because I’ve seen the difference mentoring makes. I’ll be able to put myself in my mentee’s shoes because I’ve been there.

Without the Fulfillment Fund, I’d be lost. I’m grateful for the Fulfillment Fund and everything they’ve done for me. I just hope other people have the same opportunities that I have.

In fall 2013, Mikey became a freshman at UC Santa Cruz, becoming the first in his family to attend a four-year college. Today he is starting his third year at UC Santa Cruz, where he is majoring in art.

When you give to the Fulfillment Fund, you’re making a targeted investment in the future of our community. To make a donation today to support students like Mikey, visit www.fulfillment.org/donate.