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Regret: Why the Small Things Matter
July 2, 2019

If am to be frank, I could fill this blog post with all the small outings I’ve undertaken with my mentors but one of the most memorable and most peculiar has been sharing the morning with one of the mentors that was never officially assigned to me. Doctor John Bales, a Daniels Scholar like myself, has taken it upon himself to keep an eye out for me and help out in any way he could. Dr. Bales is an active member of the LSYWC program and even is looking out for another mentee in the program. Our similar backgrounds made our connection instantly click when we met through the LSYWC. In the middle of my college career, when one of my mentors from another scholarship program dropped out of contact, Dr. Bales volunteered to become my official mentor. Since then he’s sent care packages including home-made cookies and brief notes of inspiration and motivation, something that I have always secretly wished for. We’ve always managed to meet up for coffee or breakfast everytime I’ve gone back home since. The most memorable day was when he decided to sneak out of the office put on some shorts and run with me from downtown to a donut shop before the rest of Denver had woken up. We chatted at a nearby park, catching up over the obvious counter-intuitive activity we’d undertaken. 

 Ultimately it was the variety of meetings and activities we’d shared that made him one of the most crucial people in making big decisions in my life. I have taken a page out of entrepreneur books and kept a sort of advisory board of very few people that I’ve had the pleasure of calling close friends; I actively rely on these people when I have to make a tough call. When I was met with the decision to take the LSAT at a moment where I had been bogged down by academic obligations and did not feel prepared enough, he was one of the people I called. Other adults in my life, my parents included, have no experience in this sort of problem and would not be able to offer guidance even though I’d have their full support. Doctor Bales on the other hand, asked me one of the toughest questions I’d ever heard that night: “Do you regret anything in your past four years at University?”. Although I try my best to follow through on my passions and objectives, I fall short often and ashamed I told him I did. He told it was normal for over-achievers to feel that way, which already blew my mind. But that was when he shared how he’d decided to live his life, an all the more astounding set of words. Regardless of the problem at hand he makes sure to do his very best, he eliminates all distractions, and sets one target down range. So hit or miss, he can’t hold anything against himself for trying his best: he has no regrets because he knows then that it was out of his hands. At that point I knew that I did not want to continue down this path of being overburdened and attempting life changing challenges only to fall short of my objective, something I’d made a habit of at Syracuse University. It was incredibly difficult to admit back then, and even still now, but I decided with the approval of LSYWC to take a year in between graduation and law school to study. Doctor Bales shared that he also had trouble preparing for the LSAT even so he went to Notre Dame, works at one of the top firms in Denver, and just passed the California bar, no easy feat for lawyers. To say absolute least, I’m incredibly grateful to have this caliber of connection with the people of LSYWC. Now after I graduate with a double major, a nice resume, and a good GPA I can focus on that single target. I remained undeterred thanks to my mentors.


Studying Out of State
May 19, 2016

My legs maintained a constant fidget, my hands clenched into a fist every so often, all as I waited restlessly for my plane to land in Syracuse.  My stay in Denver this past winter break was characterized by this same unsettled feeling.  When I landed in Syracuse, I immediately began looking through the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) prep materials for the class I would take to prepare for the LSAT this coming summer.  Having been funded for a portion of the class by LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede, I felt utterly grateful for their support and, at the same time, overwhelmingly empowered because I have been given the resources to reach higher and higher at every step of my path to becoming a lawyer.  

My experience with LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede strays from the traditional because I have chosen to study out of state, at Syracuse University.  In choosing to do this I have been able to challenge myself in various aspects of my life and I have broadened my horizons.  The only problem is that when I get overwhelmed, as we all do at some point or another; I don’t have the option to return home, to rely on my parents, or even to take a break from school.  Although my parents are supportive and provide advice, their education was limited to elementary school in Mexico.  As such their knowledge and experiences are limited and do not cover many of the problems I have faced in college. Many times they just can’t relate to or understand what I am going through.  Similarly, many of my friends who graduated high school disregarded my choice to enter college as one that came from being “lucky” or “privileged”, rather than hard earned.  What is perhaps most frustrating is that, although all of my friends and family love and care for me, I cannot talk to them because their response is a simple “well just come home.”  

For these reasons it has been all the more imperative to have mentors who can empathize with my struggles.  In a few days, I will be finishing my junior year at Syracuse in the best position I have ever been in college thanks to the support and advice of my LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede  Mentors who have given me guidance on studying, balancing work and academics, taking advantage of additional resources here at the university, and managing personal relationships.  Even though my mentors are in Colorado and I am in New York, we manage to communicate almost every two weeks, be it by text messaging or skype video calls. When I am home we take advantage of our time in Colorado and regularly go climbing or hiking to build on the relationship. Furthermore my mentors have provided me with incredible networking opportunities, including meeting with the mayor of Denver, Michael Hancock, and sitting down and having lunch with Judge Arguello, herself.

I am grateful to LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede both for funding my LSAT prep course, a class I would never have otherwise been able to afford, and for providing me with three very committed mentors who have been there for me during the past two years.  In a few weeks, I will be taking one of the most important tests of my life – the LSAT and I am honored to have been provided with so much help along the way.path to becoming a lawyer.  
My experience with LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede strays from the traditional because I have chosen to study out of state, at Syracuse University.  In choosing to do this I have been able to challenge myself in various aspects of my life and I have broadened my horizons.  The only problem is that when I get overwhelmed, as we all do at some point or another; I don’t have the option to return home, to rely on my parents, or even to take a break from school.  Although my parents are supportive and provide advice, their education was limited to elementary school in Mexico.  As such their knowledge and experiences are limited and do not cover many of the problems I have faced in college. Many times they just can’t relate to or understand what I am going through.  Similarly, many of my friends who graduated high school disregarded my choice to enter college as one that came from being “lucky” or “privileged”, rather than hard earned.  What is perhaps most frustrating is that, although all of my friends and family love and care for me, I cannot talk to them because their response is a simple “well just come home.”  

For these reasons it has been all the more imperative to have mentors who can empathize with my struggles.  In a few days, I will be finishing my junior year at Syracuse in the best position I have ever been in college thanks to the support and advice of my LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede  Mentors who have given me guidance on studying, balancing work and academics, taking advantage of additional resources here at the university, and managing personal relationships. Even though my mentors are in Colorado and I am in New York, we manage to communicate almost every two weeks, be it by text messaging or skype video calls. When I am home we take advantage of our time in Colorado and regularly go climbing or hiking to build on the relationship. Furthermore my mentors have provided me with incredible networking opportunities, including meeting with the mayor of Denver, Michael Hancock, and sitting down and having lunch with Judge Arguello, herself.

I am grateful to LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede both for funding my LSAT prep course, a class I would never have otherwise been able to afford, and for providing me with three very committed mentors who have been there for me during the past two years.  In a few weeks, I will be taking one of the most important tests of my life – the LSAT and I am honored to have been provided with so much help along the way.


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“Sí, Se Puede” is a phrase born of farmworkers, who, under the leadership of the UFW, César Chávez, and Dolores Huerta, fought valiantly for equal protection under the law. As a result of the efforts of the UFW, “Sí, Se Puede” has become well known as a call that engenders hope and inspiration in those who face similar battles. We thank the UFW, whom we acknowledge to be the sole and exclusive owner of the Trademark SI SE PUEDE, for granting us a limited license to use“Sí, Se Puede” in connection with our efforts to recruit, in Colorado, students of Hispanic or Latino descent for our law school pipeline program. For more information about the programs offered by the UFW, please see UFW’s webpage (www.ufw.org); UFW Foundation’s webpage (www.ufwfoundation.org); and UFWF’s immigration services webpage (www.sisepuede.org)