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LAMP lights path for first generation students

Ingrid Rodriguez
Staff Writer 

University of La Verne alumni are giving back to students by starting a new program called Latino Alumni Mentors and Professionals.

Mario Rodriguez, president of LAMP and residence life coordinator at Cal Poly Pomona, held a meeting with six other professionals to discuss the new possibilities of this program.

The group serves as a social environment where the students can get career advice.

There are no students signed up for LAMP yet but the goal is to combine LAMP with an existing program at ULV called the First Generation Program.

“We want to be able to provide an extended program,” Rodriguez said.

Half of the students at the University of La Verne are first generation students, which mean their parents did not attend a college.

The First Generation program offers tutoring and currently has 293 students enrolled and 70 pending applications. They also have 100 mentors available for the students.

Lili Gradilla, intercultural program coordinator, has the whole semester planned out for the First Generation Program and wants Mario Rodriguez and LAMP to also be a part of their events.

Lisa Rodriguez, graduate success center director, and Jazmyne Lewis, project coordinator for graduate success center, presented their graduate mentoring program to the table.

Lisa Rod­riguez said that she wants to find the healthiest mesh of programs as possible.

“The students need to know the benefits of the programs,” Lisa Rodriguez said. “Our center is usually tutoring focused.”

Some of the benefits that Lisa Rodriguez talked about were academic, professional support, network opportunities, strong graduate journey and building confidence.

Mario Rod­riguez wanted to let the group know the progress of LAMP and where his plans were as far as finding mentors.

He said he wants sources for the students in person and online.

He never wants the students to feel like he does not have time for them or that they are burdens if they ask for help.

Their goal for the growth of the organization is to have the students who join LAMP be able to choose their mentors by checking off categories on a list

Mario Rodriguez hopes that this will help students get in touch with the most qualified mentors in their field.

Gradilla said she wants to plan a LAMP mixture so the students who are interested will have a chance to meet the mentors before they are paired up with them.

This will also be a chance for the students to find a possible mentor who they click with.

“We think our juniors and seniors would really benefit,” Gradilla said. “We want LAMP to really be a part of La Verne.”

LAMP has a Facebook page where Mario Rodriguez can add members that are interested in being mentors for the program.

There are already 125 members.

Ingrid Rodriguez can be reached at ingrid.rodriguez@laverne.edu.

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