Minds Matter Portland is at a great stage of our program life cycle as we are now witnessing our MM Alumni graduate from college! We are so proud of the achievements our Alumni have made and cannot wait to see where they continue on in their lives and careers. Minds Matter Portland students have gone on to attend over 40 different colleges and universities since the program started in 2006. Below are the institutions that our students have attended most frequently.
The full list of colleges and universities attended by Minds Matter Portland students can be seen by clicking here.
STAY CONNECTED WITH MINDS MATTER PORTLAND
There are several ways for Alumni to remain involved in the Minds Matter Community:
- Update your contact information. We will send you news, updates, and upcoming events. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Give back to Minds Matter by volunteering your time or making a donation to help provide students with the same life-changing opportunities you had while in the program.
ALUMNI STORIES - WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Whether you are still in college, beginning your career, or were in one of the first classes of Minds Matter, we want to hear from you. As a Minds Matter alum, you are a part of a prestigious group of individuals, including current students, volunteers, leadership, and a growing network of active alumni. We want to know about life after Minds Matter. How has college been? What are you majoring in? What advice would you give current MM students? Send us pictures, videos, and stories about what you’re up to, both in and outside school. Our goal is to showcase our Alumni through Alumni Stories to show the community what our program is all about. Contact us at email@example.com.
Amaya Gustave MM '19
Amaya is a recent Pitzer College graduate from the 2019 Minds Matters Portland Cohort.
"As a first-generation student, Minds Matters Portland provided the tools, resources, and support I needed to overcome barriers in accessing a college education. Through amazing mentorship, summer programs that allowed me to grow my independence, and exceptional test preparation, I was able to gain access to opportunities that launched my undergraduate journey and instill the confidence I needed to succeed. I was surrounded by other excited, passionate, and accomplished students and formed lifelong connections that continue to shape my life to this day.”
Joey Choi MM '17
At just 17 years old, I never imagined embarking on a solo journey to Oxford, UK for three weeks. Thanks to the summer programs offered by Minds Matter, my dream became a reality. Their unwavering support in essay writing and college applications enabled me to secure scholarships, paving the way for a debt-free college experience. Through Minds Matter, I learned the power of unconditional support and the profound impact that simple acts of assistance can have on someone's life. This experience has inspired me to constantly extend a helping hand, even to strangers.
Tia Bangura MM '11
Being a part of Minds Matter was truly an invaluable experience. I love the opportunities I had to learn and broaden my worldview. I got to participate in summer programs at Harvard and in Ecuador, which I know I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. To this day, my family and I are so grateful. I noticed myself coming out of my shell, and I felt more confident starting college and going out into the "real world" because of these unique experiences.
On a more personal level, I think my favorite part about the program was having a dedicated mentor. I'm still in contact with my mentor, and it’s been great having her as a resource (and friend) as I graduated college, found my first full-time job, and applied to grad school - and as I continue to build my professional network.
It's my hope that programs like Minds Matter continue to exist and thrive. As a first-generation American from a low income family, I deeply benefitted from this kind of opportunity. I know that for other people with similar backgrounds, community support is key as we work toward our goals.
Jowelle Mizaro MM '14
Minds Matter offered me the opportunity to set and meet my educational and personal goals. I am deeply grateful for the mentors, counselors, tutors, and peers who supported my learning and growth on the path to college and beyond. Today I am a first-generation college graduate and in the early years of my career in part because of the support I received from Minds Matter.
Haedon Brunelle MM '15
Minds Matter has had one of the greatest impacts on my life that I become more and more thankful for every day. Minds Matter provides opportunities for low income students to receive resources typically accessible to students in higher income backgrounds, such as college and scholarship application support and essay peer reviews, offering opportunities to study at a university briefly during the summer of high school domestically and internationally, and professional support for the ACT and SAT.
For me in particular, it made me who I am today: the Rules Coordinator of the Oregon Department of Education (ODE). Minds Matter gave me, a low income autistic teenager with a family that never went to college, access to resources and supports that lead and motivated me to become student body President of my high school and university, study World War 2 history in Europe right before my senior year of high school, and attend Pacific Lutheran University on a near-full ride scholarship to study political science and economics.
While the course of life was still difficult and barriers were faced, Minds Matter gave me tools to go through the academic and career world by helping me with research skills, essay assistance, and resource banks of scholarship applications that led me into State Government. It had been a dream of mine as a kid to serve in politics so that I can serve those historically underserved, and Minds Matter gave me the reins I needed to get into State Government so that I may do what I can to serve K-12 education through the Department of Education.
Christy Lin MM '18
Hi! My name is Christy Lin. I graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing. I am now working as a Registered Nurse at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
As a first-generation college student and the only person that speaks English at home, I encountered many challenges throughout high school. While I was struggling with the college application process, my parents were still trying to figure out how to pay the utilities! That’s why when a counselor pulled me to the auditorium for a Minds Matter intro during my freshman year, I knew right away that this program would better support my future.
I know this sounds very dramatic, but Minds Matter did change my life. I was fortunate enough to experience first-hand what college life is like by going to MM-sponsored pre-college programs. I was able to be paired with amazing mentors who were willing to look over all my application essays, explain financial aid, and provide invaluable advice based on my career choice. With Minds Matter’s support, I gradually developed my own future plan: from narrowing down college choices and bookmarking all the scholarships, to prepare for my nursing school application. Over the years, I see myself growing into a more independent, assertive, and resilient young woman.
Minds Matter played a pivotal role in my life. Without Minds Matter, I can never imagine myself graduating college with my dream degree debt free. And I’m proud to call Minds Matter my second family after immigrating to the US. Thank you to everyone from Minds Matter!