13:26 PM

Mendenhall Scholars Get a Head Start

Seniors and Mendenhall Mentors Jhoeli Vasquez and Francisca Gutierrez with Trini Mendenhall (center)Each summer, a select group of incoming freshmen students have the opportunity to jump-start their college careers as Mendenhall Scholars. The five-week Mendenhall Summer Institute, founded by UST Life Director Trini Mendenhall, introduces a small group of students, many of whom are first-generation college students, to the UST campus, helping them adjust to college life and meet other members of their class well before the first day of school. Additionally, these young men and women form relationships with peer mentors and faculty, and earn early credits in Math and English.

Nearly all participants in the Mendenhall Summer Institute get involved in our larger community beyond their studies and become student leaders on campus. Mendenhall Institute participant Dulce Rincon said of her experience, “Because of Mendenhall, I know I will be successful here at UST. I know that I can use the communication skills I have acquired, I know that I can apply my time management skills accordingly, and most important of all, I know that there are people I can reach out to here at St. Thomas who can help me if I am having a hard time.” 

Through the philanthropic work of the Trini and OC Mendenhall Foundation, Trini endeavors to help the next generation of students succeed both academically and in life, and hopes her contributions can help break cycles of generational poverty. With the Mendenhall Summer Institute, Trini and UST have created an incredible support system for these young men and women as they persist on the path to college completion and fruitful professional futures.