Abraham Lincoln High School Student, Jackie
“We are superior to everyone else”, was the motto of the secret group called the Pink Ladies that Freshman Jackie was involved in. As one of the pink ladies Jackie actively participated in fights, ditched classes and disrespected teachers. One day while ditching class, Mr. Medina, YESS School Liaison at Lincoln High School, caught her and enrolled her to in the YESS mentoring program. Initially, Jackie was very upset as she felt it was “uncool” to be a part of the program. “I felt like I was labeled as the bad kid and the program was a punishment”. But Jackie stayed in the program where she received homework help and advice from her Senior mentors, students who had been in her shoes just years before. She started improving in classes and at the end of the year, Jackie was on the honor roll.
The YESS cross-peer mentoring program showed Jackie that she could be much more than just one of the pink ladies. “I had to quit the group and represent myself as confident Jackie who is not afraid to work hard even if I fail.” Her own transformation motivated her to become a role model in other people’s lives, serving as a YESS mentor. “The experience has increased my own self-respect and integrity”.
Jackie can remember a time being told she couldn’t graduate from high school at all. “Thanks to YESS mentoring program, I have changed my whole thought process and outlook towards life. I’ve not only made it through high school, but now I also have a year scholarship to community college of Denver”.
Currently, Jackie is studying languages at the University of Colima at Mexico. She says that, “YESS mentoring was a life changing experience for me both as a mentee and a mentor and I highly encourage freshman who are struggling to utilize this program. The mentors are there by choice because they want to help. So trust them and they will provide all the support they can. Also, I will be always grateful to Mr. Medina and Carlo for directing me towards the light in life”. – Jackie O.