Rosa Gonzalez saw how important mentors were in her life—so she decided to become one for others.
“They believed in me; and, therefore, I began to believe in myself and everything that I could accomplish,” Gonzalez said. “Being able to serve as a mentor to others is something that’s really shaped my experience at the university and made me want to do more. It allowed me to see how much of a difference one person can make.”
Gonzalez is a member of the university’s Opportunity Scholars Program. Through OpScholars, she serves as a leader in the Social and Service Committee, helping to create a sense of community and establish a commitment to community engagement. She also is active in the university’s Talent Gateway, where she works as a talent ambassador.
Tyler Guenette, assistant director for success programs and Opportunity Scholars success coach, said she uses her experiences in both programs to enhance cross-campus partnerships.
“Rosa has continually noted areas to strengthen and improve the two programs individually, but also how to cultivate the partnership so that OpScholars have a simpler time transitioning to the Talent Gateway,” he said. “Because of her leadership with this, I am confident that our partnership with the Talent Gateway will continue to grow as we work to better serve our students.”
She has taken part in Alternative Spring Break, works as a student program assistant in the Office of Student Success and has completed an on-campus internship with the Office of Business Affairs.
“Getting involved allowed me to grow as an individual and start to see everything that I was capable of doing while obtaining new skills,” she said.
Gonzalez also gets involved with her community by using what she’s learned on campus to help. She spent the summer at a banking firm, teaching the public about fiscal responsibility and economic freedom.
Even with all she’s done, her favorite role remains mentoring incoming freshmen.
“Being able to make those connections with them was really rewarding,” she said. “It allowed me to realize how much of a difference just having someone there can have.”