Minds Matter alumna Angie Jimenez (Forest Grove High School ’10) graduated May 24 from Pacific Lutheran University with a degree in Hispanic Studies. PLU profiled her for their Graduate Voices series.
It was mandatory that she attend every … single … session if she were to stay in the program, which tutors and supports disadvantaged high-school youth and prepares them to enter top-notch colleges.
But the glasslike surface was too much, and her car ended up in a ditch. Still determined, she convinced the program mentor, who came to pick her up, to bring her back to classes, only to find out they’d been canceled due to the weather.
“It’s that kind of commitment which marks these graduates,” said Dale Benson, a member of PLU’s Board of Regents who, along with his wife, Jolita, sponsored Jimenez in the Minds Matter program and assisted in the financing of her college education. The Bensons became involved in Minds Matter through a friend at their church. The Bensons were impressed by the program and decided to help out.
In a rare downtime slot the week before graduation, Jimenez said that as she walks across the stage on May 24, becoming the first in her family to earn a college degree— in her case, Hispanic Studies—she will be grateful for all the support that made her journey possible: from the Bensons, her Minds Matter tutors, the Karl Stumo family, her PLU professors and her parents, who arrived in the U.S. as undocumented workers 15 years ago.