Meet Angelica Gomez, mentor to Nancy Torres and Lesly Ramirez. Angelica first came to JOYA after participating in our Panel of Professionals night earlier this year. As an electrical engineer who works in various water projects, including hydropower and renewable energy, she drives every other Wednesday night from her job in Pasadena to Fullerton to spend time with her mentees. When I asked Angelica what makes her jump into her car and drive 90 minutes in LA traffic to meet with Nancy and Lesly, her response was effortless, “I can identify with both girls very well. When I was their age, I was also interested in math and science but I didn’t know how to apply to the best colleges. As the oldest of three sisters, I had no one who could show me the ropes. My desire is to guide students, especially first generation Hispanic girls, through the college process.” Angelica earned her Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona and her Master’s degree in the same field of study from Cal State Los Angeles.
You can be sure to find Nancy and Lesly giggling with Angelica every time they come together. Nancy likes to share how water polo practice went and Lesly likes to discuss how her days volunteering at the public library keeps her busy and engaged with residents. Since they began meeting back in September, they have slowly began talking beyond the usual conversations of school work and after school activities, now the two sophomores are comfortable enough to ask Angelica about her college days. In many ways, college no longer feels foreign or strange to Nancy and Lesly. For their remaining years of high school, the two students will have an incredible mentor, a personal coach and cheerleader, who will be with them every step of the way.