by Andrea Mendoza Perez
This past month was rather eventful for the Peer Mentoring Program for Hispanic/Latino Students. Early in the month we went apple picking on Carter Mountain, and later in the month we hiked Humpback Rock at sunrise. It was a miracle for them to get me outdoors once, but twice? That’s how you know I love this program.
The Peer Mentoring Program serves as a type of community set up by mentor/mentee pairings; over the summer before your first year at the university, an executive board member for the program (me) bombards you with emails telling you about the program if you check yes when asked if you identify as Hispanic/Latino. As an exec member for PMP, I can see first-hand how the program is flourishing and nothing demonstrated that better than seeing the turnout at both of our November events. Apple picking had a big group of PMP and LSA (Latino Student Alliance) members alike, all of whom are incredibly photogenic as you can see.
Then, of course, came Humpback Rock. While I expected a much smaller turnout for that event, I was surprised by the number of people and the fervent enthusiasm of those people to join us that day. We left early to be on the rock by sunrise and we were not disappointed by the beauty—or the cold—of the mountain.
But we are college students and citizens of Charlottesville so obviously we got Bodo’s afterward.
I’m amazed at and grateful for our little community. We have dedicated, active members who, while put together because they checked yes, are now bonded in friendship and in having seen each other first thing in the morning before coffee.
As a final note, I thought it really fitting that we started out the month seeing the sunset and finished it out seeing the sun rise.