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Meet Our Mentor of the Month!

John Garcia, Chicago Scholars Alumni, Former Emerge Intern, Mentor since 2023

John Garcia headshot, Chicago Scholars mentor of the month

Starting this month, in celebration of our new Mentor application opening, we’ll be highlighting some of our current incredible mentors with a new mentor of the month series. Be sure to come back every month to hear their stories, why they decided to become a mentor, and maybe even some special stories of connections with their scholar cohorts that you can only read here.

Our January Mentor of the Month is John Garcia – as a Chicago Scholar alumni himself from the class of 2021, John has been a part of the Chicago Scholars community for years. His transition to mentor in 2023 was the next step in his drive to continue to give back to his community.

“Chicago Scholars has been a huge part of my life since being a scholar myself and I would not be where I am today without the organization. I’ve been a scholar, a peer mentor in college, an emerge scholar, and now a mentor for an amazing cohort of students. I’m driven by the desire to help students who are in the seat I once was, and to give back to the Chicago community that has give so much to me over the years,” said John.

Though John has been part of the Chicago Scholars community since he started as a Scholar in 2018, his journey as a mentor is only beginning – and he has so much more that he’s looking forward to as he helps to guide other Scholars on their path forward.

“I have appreciated the opportunity to grow, teach and learn from our younger Chicago Scholars and I know the impact the organization is able to have on students lives. Being a first generation, low income student, I know the struggles scholars can go through in terms of finances and finding community in campus. If my advice and words can reach even one student, that is a huge success. My advice for anyone, including if I could give it to my former self, would be to always be yourself, keep an open mind, and learn to love and care for the people around you. I would like to show my gratitude to all of Chicago Scholars for their dedication to me and all of the scholars. Thank you and I look forward to continuing my involvement with the community.”

Inspired by John’s story? Head here to learn more about applying to be a mentor! The mentor application is now open to support our new incoming class of Chicago Scholars – head here to check out the application and apply before the deadline on May 3rd!