Scholar Voices: How mentorship helped make my NFL dream a reality
Being from a first-generation, low-income, foster youth background and a proud Chicana, the significance of college itself goes beyond my personal goals. I decided to attend Dartmouth College majoring in astronomy and physics with a minor in education because of the limitless opportunities that come with education here. I knew that Dartmouth College was going to be a new chapter of my life full of pages with memorable moments.
My mentor, Tony Pastoors, has been a tremendous help during my adjustment to life as a college student. Being a Dartmouth alumnus himself, he has helped me become aware of certain events that take place, cool spots to hang out on campus and the overall student culture here. Additionally, from the very beginning, he has genuinely helped me out with whatever I’ve needed. Whether it was assistance on campus or back home in Los Angeles, his response was often ‘shoot me a text.’ Apart from being just another adult I can seek academic advice from, he has contributed to my path to success by being supportive and providing guidance.
He even hooked me up with some really cool Los Angeles Rams gear to keep me warm during the winter. With every ounce of appreciation I have to Tony, I can now state that I have been to an NFL game, and not just a regular-season game with regular stadium seats, but rather inside a suite, at the newly designed SoFi stadium with food provided. I also had the opportunity to share it with the closest people in my life! It was a thrilling moment.
To be so generous to invite me, alongside five other family members, is more than I could have asked for. Genuinely, being an NFL fan from a young age, I dreamed of attending a game. I wouldn’t have thought that I would be able to afford to go to a game until I had a job. Tony changed that.
Because I am a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan, it takes a lot for me to say that he made the Los Angeles Rams look pretty cool. I can still remember telling my family and friends about my mentor’s generosity and invitation to the game. They really didn’t believe me until the night I came back, face radiating with joy and pictures to prove my experience.
Being a mentor is more than just an extra contact. It is an extra face, an extra voice and an extra life that can impact the life of a mentee and vice versa. Professionals can encourage and enable their mentees to develop their own professional careers and use their experiences to help the younger generation to reach their full potential. Additionally, professionals as mentors give insight into the outside world. As young adults, it can be difficult to understand society, but mentors can allow for more opportunities to happen, people to grow and impact to be created.
I was super stoked to be accepted into the Earl Woods Scholar Program and assigned a mentor. It was even more awesome to be matched with a Dartmouth alumnus who now works for the NFL.
From the beginning, he has been very genuine, and I could see that right away. He was also well aware of just how prestigious Dartmouth is and how hard it could be to get into an Ivy League institution. Beyond academics, he has always made sure to acknowledge me and how I am doing, and we’ve built a symbiotic relationship. We both get busy but make time for each other. He’s awesome and I’m grateful he’s my mentor.