Mentored Antonio Villaraigosa?
Villaraigosa is the 41st mayor of Los Angeles.
Herman Katz was a high school teacher of mine who had
taken an interest in me, who spent a great deal of time
with me, and encouraged me to stay in school and go
on to college and take the SAT. He was somebody who
wasn't a formal mentor but really was a mentor in every
sense of the word. He just spent a lot of time with
me in a way I'll always remember and I've always acknowledged.
And so whether he was a formal mentor, a high school
teacher, a committed human being who not only helped
me but helped many others. A real hero.
There's no adult quite like my mom. My mother was a
woman of indominable spirit. I mean, to raise four kids
on her own, single mom, never owned her own home, rode
the bus her whole life. A woman who really pushed her
kids and had high expectations and encouraged us to
dream and reach for the stars. She was without question
the inspiration in my life and the biggest reason why
I've been able to enjoy success.
We have some 10,000 homeless children in our L.A. public
schools. Many of the children who go to those schools
are on the school lunch programs and live below the
poverty line. They need a mentor. They need someone
who could provide them with the experience and the guidance
and the friendship and support, the safety net, if you
will, that's critical to success. Many of these kids
without a mentor just won't make it. And this is an
opportunity for you to say, I'm going to give back.
I'm going to share my experiences with someone who can
benefit from those experiences and make it. It's an
opportunity for us to create community in a city where
we oftentimes feel so separate and apart from one another.