By Sergio Ignacio Arce
The journey to CGI U started with my involvement with the Dream Project in which I served as mentor. In this project I saw the importance of mentorship in transition period for a student. I saw how senior high school students were taking a big step forward into college and were benefiting from guidance. My experience as college student had me thinking about the other big step these students must take out of college. However, I saw there is no much personal assistance or mentorship to college student looking to take the bigger step out of college or finishing college.
I decided to create a platform, Juvenis Imaginators, that brings together mentors and first generation college students to solve the lack of tailored mentorship offered at the college level. My initial thought was to work in conjunction with my university to build on the platform. However, after the conference, I decided to take a different path and reshape my platform. The idea remains to assist first generation college students. Yet, to focus on first generation community college students, I am thinking on running a pilot program located across three different locations. The first one in a community college border-town like El Paso, TX; the second one in a rural Midwest community college; and the third location in an inner-city community college on the East Coast.
There are a lot of steps I must take in order to start to build this platform. My number one strategy is cooperation and partnerships with other students, NGOs, and community centers. I must do a lot more research in order to start compiling a robust design for this platform. The challenges is been setting up the partnerships to continue on. I am very excited about the prospects of this reformed idea and I will continue to work diligently to produce something coherently solid that will strive to help first generation students. I want to thank Melanie Fedri, The Clinton Global Initiate University, The George Washington University, and all those people that made possible the wonderful and enriching experience that the conference was. Overall, it was fountain of inspiration to go on and empower others to change the world.