The inaugural fall celebration of Minds Matter of San Francisco took place on October 13, 2012, bringing board members, mentors, mentees and the mentees’ parents together for the first time. CEO Taylor Bollman kicked off the event by introducing the Minds Matter community. Stressing a two-pronged approach of mentorship and supportive programming, Bollman summarized the benefits of each in relation to helping mentees gain college admission.
Program leads then presented each class to the room, and encouraged mentees to describe their favorite part of the summer program. Junior mentee Leon Yuan sparked laughter when he shared his summer experience at UCLA. Upon arriving on campus, Yuan met his roommate and quickly discovered that he only spoke French! But after spending a summer together, Yuan and his roommate managed to form a deep friendship, transcending the language barrier. Today, they still remain in touch, heavily relying on Google translate to decode their correspondence.
Other mentees shared colorful tales of their summers, from forming competitive basketball teams, picking up New York accents and even working with cadavers, the animated high schoolers walked everyone down memory lane.
After hearing from the mentees, everyone had an opportunity to catch up and get to know one another. Alan Hsieh, VP of Mentee Experience and Parent Relations, engaged in Chinese with his mentee’s parents.
And while the Minds Matter community strengthened that afternoon in St. Mary’s Cathedral, CEO Naveed Ahmad was able to span generations and languages with his perfect pitch. Ahmad concluded the event on a high note-- singing a universal Happy Birthday to President Joseph Du Bey.