DSP&S students receive career guidance during Mentoring Day

Connie Garcia

Sociology major Robin Callaway was one of the Cerritos College students who enjoyed the various career-oriented activities that were offered during Mentoring Day on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at the Los Angeles City Hall.

Mentoring day is an event specifically designed for disabled students and takes place almost every year.

The event consists of volunteers getting together with these students and providing them with essential career information and hands-on activities.

Along with the students were DSP&S counselors Steve La Vigne and Aurora Segura, which aided the students in seeing them off to their activities with their mentors for the day.

“(The mentors) stressed the importance of staying connected with their students and building lasting networking relationships,” Segura said.

“The students then visited the L.A. City Council Chambers and were introduced by council member Tom LaBonge as participants of Mentoring Day and it was just exciting to be in a room full of VIPs,” she added.

The event started off with a presentation from mentors, two of which were city commissioners, one of which was also disabled. They shared stories about how mentors had helped them throughout their careers.

After a brief introduction from the guest speakers, the students and their mentors attended various work sites.

Among the places visited by the students and mentors were the Department of Aging, L.A. City Department on Disability, Animal Control, Department of Building & Safety, and City Hall.

“It was an amazing experience. The mentors took me around and showed me several different things, including animal shelters and that’s great because I want to be a (veterenarian) someday,” said medicine major Tracy Crummit.

Upon the students’ return to City Hall Forecourt at 4 p.m., they enjoyed a catered dinner provided by Olive Garden followed by a speech from other guests who attended the event.

“The keynote speaker was Betty Wilson,” Segura said.

“She is commissioner on disabilities, and longtime disabilities advocate, so it was a great thing for her to voice her experience with our students.”

After the speakers, the students themselves went up and spoke about their experience with their mentor and how attending all the different places gave them insight on careers and what they learned in the process.

“The mentors were very nice and helpful when providing me with more information about different areas of different careers. I think the school should have more events like this for students with disabilities like myself,” said Crummit.

Callaway mentioned the event went better than she expected because she got to attend an emergency situation workshop which taught her the key elements of what to do in those kinds of situations.

“The highlight of the event for me was gaining more knowledge about available jobs for disabled students and meeting new people. It was a great time for everyone,” she added.

Once the students that attended the event were done sharing their experiences, all those who made the event possible gave their closing remarks and the event concluded at 5 p.m.

For more information about Mentoring day or DSP&S contact Segura at [email protected] or at (626) 244-6730 or go to www.cerritos.edu/dsps.