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Jóvenes Adelante University Students Recognize the Importance of a Mentor

Cynthia de la Vega

By Cynthia Rodríguez Álvarez

The transition to the university is one of the most significant and difficult steps in the life of a student, and Jóvenes Adelante (JA) knows it; that’s why JA provides a mentor to each student. But how vital is that role? To answer this question, I met with three of my JA program colleagues.

For Carla Cadena, Fabián Arroyo, and Diana Rubio, having the support of a mentor during their university careers has been very important. Since most JA students attend schools outside of San Miguel de Allende, it is essential to have a friend who gives them confidence and keeps them motivated during their transition from family life to independence.

“When I’m having a problem, she helps me find alternatives—that changes everything to a positive outlook,” says JA student Carla Cadena. It’s wonderful having a mature and experienced person by her side to guide her through university and help her prepare for work life, a transition which can be difficult, she reflects.

For these students, their relationships have become sincere friendships: their mentors have shared both their greatest achievements and some of their most difficult moments. Fabian Arroyo remembers when his dad was injured. Arroyo is studying in Dolores Hidalgo and felt helpless when he could not be present to help his family at that stage, only visiting them on weekends. He appreciated the emotional support he received from his mentor.

“She always listened to me, asked me about him, and calmed me down,” he said. “We could talk about anything because we have a bond of trust.”

Diana Rubio had the good fortune to meet her mentors—a couple, both of them lawyers—before starting university. When Diana hesitated in her decision to study law, they guided her and helped her to confirm that her decision was a good one. She is now happy with her career and loves to discuss her studies with them.

“It would be good if everyone had mentors in their career area or specialty,” she recently suggested to JA.

Finally, each of them agrees that if it were not for their mentor, their university life would not be the same. While family support is abundant, many parents are not familiar with the demands of university life. Since many of them did not study at university, their children can’t always discuss those sorts of troubling issues with them. Mentors provide much-needed moral support in moments of weakness and stress. They also support JA’s students by celebrating their achievements and helping them find strategies to cope with busy student lives.

The mission of Jóvenes Adelante is to open a radically more expansive future for the youth of San Miguel de Allende by facilitating financial barriers to higher education and efforts for life and leadership. For information, to join our mailing list, or to become a sponsor or volunteer, visit our website; call 415 150 0030; or send an email to


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