On a lovely evening in early June 2019 the POE Awards Night BBQ was held in a beautiful backyard for all of our new students in the Bay Area. This event continues to be a wonderful time of celebration and inspiration for all attendees.
The first part of the evening was dedicated to meeting and mingling. Students scurried around playing Human Bingo, an icebreaker game that helps people learn interesting facts about each other. It’s a great way to meet the students and for some it is the first time that they get to meet their mentor.
Carol Mullin gathered all the students together for a group photo and provided them with some words of wisdom and a list of critical information. Her top tip, “Your mentor is your gateway to your award money! “ She also stressed the importance of communicating with your mentor.
The socializing continued over heaping plates of delicious BBQ and vegetarian fare. This year we have 35 new POE award recipients (31 high school graduates and 4 community college students moving on to 4-year schools). Other attendees included about 40 volunteer mentors, donors, student helpers and special guests. This year the special guests were: Rossmeri, who graduated in 2018 from Sacramento State, Manny who graduated in 2019 from SF State, Vanessa, who graduated in 2013 from UCLA undergrad and 2017 from UCLA’s nursing school. They shared wonderful advice for the new scholars, including:
- there are many resources on campus, look for them and use them
- make friends and get involved in campus activities
- problems and stress are inevitable, but try to stay positive and persevere
- reach out and use your resources including your mentor when things are tough
- college is a big step up from high school academically so be ready to put in more time
- contact your mentor with questions or for advice
We sincerely missed Jerry and Dick Smallwood, POE founders, and wish them heartfelt thanks for their vision and inspiration. Following the event we shared the photos with Jerry who commented, “What a wonderful thing!” and was deeply touched to know that POE is flourishing.
A shout out of THANKS to all the volunteers who organized this terrific event!
Hope everyone has a wonderful summer and wish our new students all the best as they prepare for this next journey.
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