Olivia Mello

Chapman University

Olivia is an individual filled with a great deal of dedication, enthusiasm, maturity, and spirit. Olivia cares deeply about underrepresented members of our community and translates that passion into concrete efforts meant to increase access to education for diverse populations, particularly first­-generation students. Olivia is herself a first-generation college student and has been serving as a mentor for local high school students for many years. When a mentoring program for first-generation high school students came to an end, Olivia created a mentoring organization to continue the effort, a sign of her persistence and determination to work with others in the community. Olivia has a vision to make the world a better place in concrete ways. As someone who knows how to translate ideas into action, she will no doubt achieve that vision.

Dr. Daniele Struppa
Chapman University

Personal Statement

Dr. Martin Luther King once said, "Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in." As a student at Chapman University, I am inspired to make a career of humanity every day. Here, I am given the resources and opportunities to make my Chapman experience one that fosters my growth as both a student and global citizen. As a first-generation college student, I have been incredibly grateful for the support I have received and the knowledge I have gained. As a mission of extending that gratitude, I have started my own mentoring program to help guide high school students in the Orange County area who are aspiring to be the first in their family to attend college. The mission of the First Generation Mentor Program is to pair Chapman University students with high school student mentees to guide them through the college application process and help them develop college readiness skills. Mentors will empower mentees to affirm confidence in their abilities, set goals for the future, and create plans to achieve them. Through this program, I hope to help others increase their self-confidence and give them the tools to achieve their goals. Education is the vehicle of achievement and my mission is to help create equal opportunity despite circumstance. My ultimate goal is to start a scholarship through the First Generation Mentor Program. If I can help erase socioeconomic barriers for others, I can pave the way for more service in the world for future generations to come.

Olivia Mello
Piano Performance: Class of 2020
written 2019

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