December 16, 2014

The mentor’s side: Bill Borges

Bill Borges is a semi-retired, environmental scientist, who spends much of his time helping companies and folks go green through the non-profit environmental sustainability organization he founded.

As successful as Bill is in his field, he has chosen to increase his impact on the world by serving as a mentor for scholars in the Tiger Woods Foundation’s Earl Woods Scholarship Program.

The Earl Woods Scholarship Program (EWSP) provides a phenomenal support network for gifted young men and women, many of whom are first-generation college students, navigating through college as the first in their families to receive a college education.

Park, Borges and Ikejiri are just three of the many men and women who made the commitment to help these extremely bright and deserving students.

The mentor experience

At age 65, Borges’ days as a college student are a little farther in his past, but that hasn’t prevented him from being a terrific mentor to his mentees, Melinda, who attends Hamilton College in New York and Gus, who attends Reed College in Oregon.

“One of the challenges that remain the same for young people in the area is figuring out how they are going to fulfill their potential.”

“Seeing Melinda blossom into an independent and confident woman who attacks life and working to help Gus make a similar realization are things that make being involved in this program so satisfying.”

What do you enjoy about being a mentor?

Borges: “My parents claimed to have high school degrees, but I am convinced neither did. But they worked their tails off to provide for us.”

“I was fortunate that the Anaheim schools provided me with an opportunity to see a different side of school and of life. Now as a mentor, I have the chance to give back and give these kids the same opportunity they need to fully realize their potential.”

What have you learned from your mentees?

Borges: “Seeing their willingness to put themselves out there and take on new challenges is a reminder of how we should all look at life. When I first met Melinda she was timid and a bit afraid of her own shadow, but at this point she’s all about finding her next opportunity and when she can start. She is tearing into life. This semester she is studying abroad in Copenhagen. The school has sent her out all over Europe to attend lectures and take tours of various research facilities. Her worldview is growing and growing, and I’m having so much fun (living) vicariously through her exploits.”

Advice to give to other mentors?

Borges: Do it. Get involved. For a busy professional, being a mentor, helping one of these remarkable young men or women will help them get out of themselves and stop being introspective about what they have to do. Get out there and help someone who can use it and have fun doing it.

For more information the Earl Woods Scholarship Program and becoming a mentor, please visit the program website