January Newsletter
Enjoying our annual holiday party: Mentor Jon with Scholar Roberto, Scholars Perla and Rita with Mentor Janet, Scholars Marwan and Sharon
Happy New Year from MVLA Scholars!
It was wonderful to see over 75 College Scholars and Mentors at our annual holiday party. We began the party with pizza at Amici’s, then walked down to Books, Inc where each of the Scholars picked out a book as a gift from MVLA Scholars. Everyone enjoyed talking about the books and sharing their selections.
Enjoying our annual holiday party: Scholar Cristian and Mentor Holly, Scholars Eddie and Jebgy, Mentor Tabitha and Scholar Lily
Now that the new year has started, many of our Scholars are beginning their search for meaningful summer work. Research has repeatedly shown that it is essential for college students to have work experience in a job related to their major in order to have career success after college. We encourage all of our scholars to work at one or more internships before they graduate. Since not all organizations have the resources to pay their interns adequately, MVLA Scholars offers supplemental scholarships for summer internships. With these supplemental scholarships, our Scholars no longer have to choose between doing a professional internship and a paid menial summer job. We began this program 3 years ago thanks to the insight and generosity of one of our donors. Dafne (profiled below) received a supplemental scholarship for her work as a Legal Assistant at Access to Justice. Some of the summer internships that we have supported financially include:

Health Care Simulation Operations at Veterans Hospital
Social Media Marketing at Chamber of Commerce
Child Service Coordinator at Life Moves
Graphic Designer at Sunnyvale Fitness
Legal Assistant at Access to Justice
Clinician Assistant at Children’s Health Council
Crime Data Analysis for Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office
Donor Trends and Analysis at Life Moves
Development Team Clinical Research at Stanford School of Medicine
Operations Intern at LifeMoves
Tech Challenge Coordinator at Tech Museum of Innovation
Immigration Outreach for the White House Office of Public Engagement

Thank you so much for your ongoing support!

Dee Gibson and Janet Tornow, Co-Chairs, MVLA Scholars

Dafne Hernandez, Seattle Pacific 2018
Attending college was always my dream and my plan, even though it was going to be a huge challenge financially. After initially accepting San Francisco State University (SFSU), I decided that I would attend Foothill College for financial reasons, and then transfer to SFSU. I was unsure about my decision to attend community college because there were negative connotations with attending a community college. However, my experience at Foothill was great. Foothill helped me realize my strengths and interests. I graduated in 2 years with an AA in Sociology and Communications.
After 2 years at Foothill, I transferred to Seattle Pacific University (SPU). SPU is a small school and I knew that’s where I would thrive. I started as a Sociology major, but my mentors and professors pushed me to try another major. Ultimately, I graduated with a BA in both Sociology and Urban Studies. I loved that many of my classes let me learn by experiencing topics such as city planning first-hand in the city. Most of my classes were very small, allowing me to make close connections with my professors.
I also participated in unique on-campus activities. I became a leader in our Multi-ethnic program, mentoring first-year students from diverse backgrounds. I was an Admissions Transfer Counseling Intern, helping to recruit transfer students. During the summers I gained valuable professional experience at two internships, one with the Bay Area Justice Corp and a second one for the Rainier Chamber of Commerce.
Since graduating from SPU in June, I have been working in the Community Development and Planning division of a city outside of Seattle. I love my job, it is so interesting! I am also volunteering at the Kent Justice Center for their Housing Justice Project as a legal assistant, helping tenants that are being evicted.
My college path would have not been possible without the support of various professors, admission counselors, and peers. MVLA Scholars supported me financially and also helped guide me along my academic path to my profession. My mentor Rachel, was an important part of my success, as she did so much more than just mentor me.