DVL Mentor Program


Kaiser’s grant support will enable us to expand our outreach to more than 20 public and private high schools in the High Desert/Victor Valley region.

The California Board and PEW Research cite that although there have been increases in the number of Latino and African American students who enroll in college, we are still seeinga significantly lower percentage of first time and full time students actually complete their college education. This presents a unique opportunity to improve these odds for High Desert students.

 DVL believes this can be achieved through a robust mentors program that keeps mentors engaged with students throughout their college experience, offers guidance in personal and professional growth, and provides a point of contact to help overcome challenges along the way.

 We are most grateful for the positive influence and experience that our mentors bring to this program.  The opportunity provided to our DVL Scholars is invaluable.

Support Data

According to the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (2016), the six year graduation rate for first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year degree-granting institution in fall 2008 was 60 percent.

 That is, 60 percent of first-time, full-time students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year institution in fall 2008 completed the degree at that institution by 2014. The 6-year graduation rate was 58 percent at public institutions, 65 percent at private nonprofit institutions, and 27 percent at private for-profit institutions. The 6-year graduation rate was 57 percent for males and 62 percent for females; it was higher for females than for males at both public (61 vs. 55 percent) and private nonprofit institutions (68 vs. 62 percent). However, at private for-profit institutions, males had a higher 6-year graduation rate than females (28 vs. 25 percent). 

 By pairing each DVL scholar with a mentor, we will encourage the scholars to graduate within the four to six year period.


Megan Ehlers – Cal State Long Beach
Alexandra Gessesse – UC Santa Barbara
Khalil Hoskins – USC
Tolulope Ogunrinde – UCLA
*Caylin Yorba-Ruiz – UC Riverside
Adam Stevenson – VVC
Ciara Wheeler – Oregon State

Chandler Brown – Harvard College
Katie Diemling – California Baptist University
Josseline Herrera – USC
Neena Mohan – UC Berkley
Krystsina Shabanava – UCLA
Julie Vu – UCLA

Cinthia Gazca – CSU Fullerton
Zackery Maroste – California Baptist University
Anjelina Lopez – Rosende – UCLA
Emily Thielen – The Masters College
Annie Tsai – CSU Berkley
Najah Williams – Howard University

*Indicates Scholar is a two-year DVL scholarship recipient.


Orlando Acevedo (2013)
Melanie Ajanwachuku (2009)
Wilton Bell, MBA*
Charles Bibbs (2015)
Elaine Bibbs *
Dr. Lakieta L. Emanuel,SLPD (2016)
Curtis Green, MBA (2014)
Sarah Shabazz-Ugwumba (2009)
Dr. Helena Johnson (2014)
Benn Johnston (2009)
Derek King (2014)
John Levell (2009)
Abi Mariam (2011)
Professor Al Mariam (2015)
Stephanie “Vida” Pazarin (2016)
Theresa Polley-Shellcroft (2009)
Ebony Purcell (2014)
Councilman Eric Schmidt (2016)
Manny Serrano (2013)
Dr. Barbara Morrow Williams (2014)
Dr. E Paul Williams (2014)
Roxanne J. Young (2014)

*Indicates DVL Partner – all others are DVL Honorees