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NYer of the Week: Claudia Espinosa Runs Program That Mentors Young Hispanic Women

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This week's New Yorker is offering support to young women who may need an extra boost in high school. NY1's John Schiumo filed the following report, which was shot, written and edited by Rachel Smith.

When she was 20 years old, Claudia Espinosa came to the U.S. from Colombia to study. She made the trip alone, but when she got here, she met a lot of people willing to help her reach her goals.

"I've had great mentoring in this country, professors and a lot of great professional people that I've been in touch with that have supported me, and because of that, I've been able to accomplish my dreams in this country," Espinosa says.

Now, she wants to pass on that good fortune. She does it as the founder and director of L.O.V.E, or Latinas on the Verge of Excellence. It's a mentoring program focused on helping young Hispanic women.

"Personally, I had the fortune to get a good education, to know what that can do for your life and how far it can take you, and I want to share that message with the students, with the girls," Espinosa says.

Some of those she helps are high school students at the Young Women's Leadership School in Harlem. There, college-aged volunteer mentors lead weekly sessions to teach study skills, time management and tips on preparing for college.

Like Claudia, the mentors in the group had plenty of help when they were girls and just want to spread the love.

"I've definitely had older students, family, friends that have taught me those study skills over time," says Andrea Arellano, a mentor in the L.O.V.E. mentoring program. "It's beneficial to have that presence in your life, and I hope to be in that role now."

"Until I'm a senior, which is next year, I'm going to always be part of this program because I think it's impacted me in a great way, because I'm really kind of shy, so it's easier being able to talk to an NYU student and get the insight about what it is to be in college and to one day be in their shoes and to talk to kids in younger grades," says Ashea Acevedo, a student in the L.O.V.E. mentoring program.

So, for enabling young women to pass on their love of learning, one student at a time, Claudia Espinosa is the latest New Yorker of the Week.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information about L.O.V.E Mentoring, visit Claudia's website at lovementoring.org.

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