This student describes Ms. Gruwell’s focus on team work to overcome obstacles. S/he describes her pairing with a graduate student from National University, from whom s/he receives guidance and with whom s/he shares her/his knowledge about diversity. Since this student wants to be an aeronautical engineer, her/his mentor, Sara, took her/him to the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena. There, s/he met with an engineer who showed her/him things that are not usually shown on tours, and s/he felt excited by what s/he saw, motivated by the prospect that s/he too could be an engineer in a few years. S/he feels grateful for having such a committed mentor.
Ms. Gruwell’s teamwork strategies demonstrate that, in a learning experience, both sides inevitably end up learning from each other: the mentee from the mentor, and vice-versa. Here, mentorship is accompanied by concrete actions to encourage Ms. Gruwell’s students not only to dream and have high ambitions for themselves, but to acquire all the information they need to turn their dreams into reality. This makes students’ ideals seem more concrete and achievable.