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Walnut valley Unified School District

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Lasting Impressions

NEWS                                                               Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        880 S. Lemon Avenue
October 10, 2011                                           Walnut, CA 91789

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
909) 595-1261 ext. 31204

Lasting Impressions
Diamond Bar High students benefit from mentoring program

DIAMOND BAR, CA--Diamond Bar High School juniors in the Pathways Communications Academy are reaping the rewards of regular meetings and mentoring with community business partners. 

The first meeting of the 2011-12 school year was held Thursday, October 6.  About 50 students met with nine mentors in the school library. 

Teachers Megan Gwilliam and Lauren Osajima-Baird organize the gatherings with mentors that work with select groups of five to six students.

“The morning went really well,” said English teacher Lauren Osajima-Baird. The mentors gave students real-life advice including resume writing, how to present themselves in an interview, and even how to give a good handshake,

“More than anything it gives them the individual attention from a person working in the field that they have some interest in,” she said.

The 90-minute sessions are scheduled on the first Thursday of each month during the school year.

Mentoring is an integral part of the three-year Pathways program, said Megan Gwilliam, Pathways Modern American History and Civics/Economics teacher for the past eight years.

Pathways juniors get the opportunity to meet with the business community and learn from the experts about the skills needed for life after high school – whether it’s preparing for career and/or pursuing college.

“They’re getting a leg up!” she said.

Each meeting is organized around a theme or skill necessary for success in life, career, and education. 

Mentors hold workshops on everything from communications skills to business ethics issues. 

The final two sessions are the culminating activity with mock interviews that provide students important interview experience and instant feedback.

“The mentoring program is one of the cornerstones of our Pathways Academy,” said Julian Rodriguez, instructional dean.

“This is an important opportunity for our students that will benefit them throughout life,” he said.

This year, new partnerships have been established with Nike, OC Weekly, Herbalife, and the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, joining valued returning partners, Southern California Edison and AT&T.

Pathways, established 13 years ago, is a California Partnership Academy (a school within a school) for sophomores through seniors.

For more information about becoming a business partner with the DBHS Pathways Communications Academy, please contact Director Julie Salas at (909) 594-1405.

Shown:  Mentor Wil Thomas and students Austin Szulczewski, Blake Wyford, Brittany Lorenzana, Anyssa Samaniego, and Bob Signh.