The St. Vincent de Paul is an international non-profit organization dedicated to serving the poor and providing others with the opportunity to serve. As a part of those the SVdP helps, they believe every young person deserves the chance for a bright future. However, for many, financial burdens or other obstacles make it impossible to pursue a college education. This is why St, Vincent DePaul created the ‘One At a Time’ scholarship program; in order to assist with tuition costs and mentors for each student through their college career. A grateful, soon to be graduate of college through the ‘One At a Time Program’, Jennefer Garcia, shares her experience and how her mentor has helped shine a light for her along the way.

“The St. Vincent de Paul Society is so selflessly dedicated to helping its community members when no one else will, supporting individuals like myself to become the next best generation. With their ‘One At a Time’ Scholarship Program, they are changing lives one student at a time. I am beyond blessed to call myself a ‘One At a Time’ student.

The program has financially assisted me in funding my college education while giving me the tools I need to succeed. Additionally, the ‘One at A Time’ Program has given me the opportunity to have a personal mentor, Lisa Autino. This program reflects the ideals of genuine help and support. The mentors and program coordinator truly believe in us; supporting us through the easy and hard times, never judging us for being imperfect college students.

Lisa, my mentor, has influenced my life in many ways. She has been with me throughout my college journey assisting me with any and every question I have had. I am thankful for the relationship I have with my mentor because she not only guides me to staying on track to graduate but also genuinely supports me and pushes me to be better. My freshman year in college I was granted a study abroad scholarship through ASU, and she was so supportive of me pursuing that dream. Many doubted that I would be able to study abroad because I was a first-generation student, but Lisa encouraged me to keep going, pushing me to find the resources I needed to help me accomplish my goal.

By my Junior year in college I embarked my study abroad experience, accomplishing one of my childhood dreams to travel to Europe. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imaged that I would be spending my fall 2016 semester studying at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain. Without my mentor’s supportive spirit and words of wisdom, I cannot imagine where I would be today.”

A special congratulations to Lisa for helping her mentee successfully complete college and achieve multiple dreams come true along the way.

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