By Emily Colon
Four years ago I met one of my biggest role models, Adria Maddaleni, a UWO alumna. It was the evening of my fifteenth birthday. She was probably the best birthday present I have ever received. I met Adria through a pre-college program called Sponsor-A-Scholar that is run through the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee. Although it is called a pre-college program, it actually continues throughout your college career.
As a part of this program, I got assigned a mentor based on my personality and interests. I could not have asked for a better mentor. One of the reasons Adria and I got matched was because she is an attorney and that is one of the things I inspire to be in the future. She is currently an attorney for Milwaukee Public Schools.
During my high school career, Adria was there for me from day one. She has taught me so much and everything I have learned has been valuable. She has taken me to many places that I would have never gotten the opportunity to visit if it wasn’t for her. Throughout the years we have gone to movies, restaurants, museums, exhibits, college visits and so much more. Through those outings Adria helped me become the young woman I am today.
She always was there for me and gave me advice and support. During my senior year in high school Adria gave me lots of guidance in where I wanted to go with my future. We spent countless hours at her house just working on my college applications and all those essays. She has been there for me both academically and personally.
Having a mentor has been truly beneficial. Adria is mainly one of the reasons that I am a student at UWO today. When I was still in high school, she brought me up to visit the UWO campus and I fell completely in love with all it had to offer. Even though she would have supported me with any decision, I know that she is happy that I chose her alma mater for my undergraduate education. I love it here just as I know she loved it here.
Adria is more than just a mentor to me; she is the big sister I never had and I know I will be able to count on her for the rest of my life.