Latina Leadership is the newest endeavor of the Tehama County Mentoring Program. Ten 7th and 8th grade girls from Gerber School have been matched with 10 members of Lambda Theta Nu sorority at Chico State University. Each month, the girls from Gerber meet their mentors on the Chico State campus to learn about the college experience, make preparations for their own admittance to college and develop leadership skills which include self-esteem, cultural competency, etiquette and high school success.
Corning High School Grad Inspires Young Leaders
When Corning High Class of 2003 alum Jesse Eller speaks, the classic playground game “Rock Paper Scissors” becomes a powerful metaphor for college–and life–success.
Eller, now Associated Student Body President at CSU, Chico, presented opening remarks to 10 Gerber Elementary Students and their college mentors involved in the Latina Leadership project through the Tehama County Mentoring Program on February 13 at CSU Chico’s Bell Memorial Union. He is the son of John and Nan Eller and Donna and Jody Mendes, all of Corning. Eller will graduate CSU, Chico in May with a degree in Agriculture Business.
“Rocks are people,” Eller said, “Friends, family, mentors.” He stressed the importance of long term friendships and finding mentors to guide.
“Paper is education and is extremely important,” he added. Eller followed up describing his journey through education with a learning disability and coming up from being behind with reading and writing skills. “I had to apply myself,” he stated.
“Scissors are to cut out fears,” he continued, urging the students to “Step out of our comfort zones and really try something new.”
The Gerber Latina Leadership group really is trying something new: college. Mentored by Lambda Theta Nu sorority members, the 7th and 8th grade girls are getting comprehensive guidance to make decisions in high school that will lead to college admissions. The February meeting, the inaugural gathering of the group, included information about Educational Opportunity Program and Upward Bound. Students were also introduced to Collegeboard.com and goal setting.
Lambda Theta Nu is a national collegiate sorority with a mission to promote and foster Latina Leaders through educational and professional development, relationship building and community involvement. Corning resident and former city council woman Yvette Zuniga is an advisor.