THE POWER OF MENTORSHIP
TAMMY WOOD’S JOURNEY WITH EDOP HAS COME FULL CIRCLE
As a former scholarship recipient, current board member, student mentor and past president of Educational Opportunities, I can personally vouch for the life-changing nature of this organization. My connection to Educational Opportunities began in 1986 when I was personally interviewed by board members, including Carolyn Clark, one of the organization’s founders who eventually became my mentor. In the interview, Carolyn and the other interviewers offered heartfelt sympathy and encouragement when I revealed my life story of near homelessness, parental abandonment, financial struggles, and strong desire to be the first one in my family to attend college. The financial support from Educational Opportunities helped make that dream a reality. The personal mentoring from Carolyn Clark (from picking me up and taking me to organizational events when I had no transportation, to spending time on the phone with me to talk about my studies and help me navigate through personal issues) provided that “parental” guidance I did not otherwise have. As a result, I graduated college with honors, went on to graduate from SMU Law School with honors and am now an equity partner and chair of the litigation section at the Dallas law firm of Bell Nunnally. Shortly after I graduated law school, Educational Opportunities requested that I become involved again by serving on the board. Since then, I have been heavily involved in a “hands on” capacity, serving in roles as president, organizer of student functions, and – most cherished by me – as a student mentor. I am honored to mentor students and provide them the same type of leadership and support that Educational Opportunities provided me to help me achieve my educational goals.
FROM SCHOLAR TO SUPPORTER
DIEM CHAU PAYS IT FORWARD
As a previous recipient of the Educational Opportunities scholarship, I realized that EdOp not only provided financial assistance but also psychological support. Every EdOp scholar is assigned a mentor who provides guidance and encouragement throughout each student’s college years. My mentor was genuinely passionate about my success and was very supportive the whole time, and I believe that this same passion is shared among other mentors and individuals in the organization. As I now have the ability, I decided to give back to EdOp so that this wonderful organization can continue to aid deserving students seeking a college degree.
GUIDING THE WAY
KAYSIE MONTGOMERY PLANTS THE SEEDS OF SUCCESSBeing a mentor for EdOp is something I enjoy immensely. I started mentoring when I first became an EdOp board member. Watching each of my three, now colllege graduates discover their field of interest while working diligently at various jobs has been exciting. To be able to assist them with course selection, obtaining in- and out-of-state internship scholarships, and navigating their financial aid options with their school advisors was a very rewarding experience, expanding my world in a way I never imagined and giving me a new way to be productive and purposeful. But, most importantly, I feel fortunate to know these impressive and dynamic individuals who are made a real difference in their school and now in their workplace communities.
The following foundations contribute generously to the EdOp cause to ensure our scholars have an opportunity to pursue their educational and career aspirations that they might not otherwise have. We thank them greatly for their contributions.