Be A Leader

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See how the Be-A-Leader program helps high school graduates make their dream of a college education come true.

TED SIMONS: FOR MANY HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES, COLLEGE SEEMS OUT OF REACH. PRODUCER NICHOLAS SERPA INTRODUCES US TO AN ARIZONA NONPROFIT THAT'S HELPING MAKE THE DREAM OF COLLEGE EDUCATION A REALITY FOR THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS.

REPORTER: THIS DOWNTOWN WALK ISN'T TO FIND A CURE OR TO PROTEST, IT'S A CHANCE FOR THE FUTURE.

SOUNDBITE: THE PURPOSE IS TO HELP THEM UNDERSTAND FROM AN EARLY AGE LIKE IN THE SEVENTH GRADE, THAT THERE IS NO BARRIER TO THEIR FUTURE.

REPORTER: GARY TRUJILLO STARTED THE BE A LEADER FOUNDATION OVER 30 YEARS AGO. HE KNOWS WHAT HE'S GOING THROUGH. HE AND HIS WIFE WERE FIRST GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENTS.

SOUNDBITE: MANY OF THESE KIDS, LIKE US, DIDN'T HAVE MENTORS AND DIDN'T HAVE THE INSIGHTS AND THE SUPPORT THEY NEEDED.
REPORTER: TRUJILLO WANTS ALL OF THE STUDENTS TO GO TO COLLEGE, BUT SUCEEDING IN THE BE A LEADER FOUNDATION REQUIRES MORE THAN SHOWING UP TO A RALLY.

REPORTER: THERE ARE MONTHLY WORKSHOPS ACROSS ALL GRADE LEVELS TEACHING THEM SKILLS THEY NEED TO GET STARTED LIKE FILLING OUT AN APPLICATION, WRITING A PERSONAL ESSAY, EVEN ATTENDING CLASSES.

REPORTER: ASU STUDENT LUISA MURILLO WAS A STUDENT IN THESE CLASSROOMS JUST LAST YEAR. AS A FIRST GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENT SHE HAD NO IDEA WHERE TO START UNTIL SHE JOINED BE A LEADER.

SOUDNBITE: THEY HAVE THE RESOURCES YOU NEED TO PUSH YOU WHERE YOU NEED TO GO.

REPORTER: THE ORGANIZATION'S MOST POWERFUL RESOURCE IS NOT PARTNERSHIPS OR MONEY. ACCORDING TO TRUJILLO, IT'S MENTORS.

SOUDNBITE: WHAT WE TEACH AS AN ORGANIZATION, THE LIFE CYCLE OF GIVING. IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT THE STUDENTS UNDERSTAND THE VALUE OF MENTORSHIP AND THE VALUE OF RECEIVING INFORMATION TO HELP THEME BECOMING BETTER INDIVIDUALS AND MORE SUCCESSFUL NOT ONLY FOR THEM AND THEIR FAMILY, BUT THEIR COMMUNITY.

REPORTER: IT'S THIS EMPHASIS ON GROWING AND LEARNING TOGETHER THA MADE MARIO WANT TO COME BACK AND VOLUNTEER AS A COLLEGE STUDENT.

SOUNDBITE: I FEEL I CAN GIVE TO STUDENTS ESPECIALLY THE UNDERCLASSMEN. I UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY COME FROM. LIKE I SAID, I DIDN'T HAVE THAT WHOLE COLLEGE IMAGE IN ME.

REPORTERS: MENTORS SHARE STORIES WITH STUDENTS.
REPORTER: THE BE A LEADER FOUNDATION HAS HELPED OVER 3300 ELEMENTRY, HIGH SCHOOL, AND COLLEGE STUDENTS A YEAR. HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR ANJELICA MILLER SAYS SHE'S GOTTEN A LOT OUT OF THE PROGRAM

SOUNDBITE: FOR ME PERSONALLY, IT WAS THE CONNECTIONS I WAS MAKING WITH PEOPLE, AND THE HELP THEY GIVE ME. THEY HELP ME WITH MY ESSAYS, PERSONAL STATEMENTS.

REPORTER: BE A LEADER STUDENTS HAVE GRADUATED FROM SOME OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS SCHOOL IN THE NATION AND OCCASIONALLY WITH SCHOLARSHIPS ATTACHED.

SOUNDBITE: WE'LL CELEBRATE OUR EIGHTH, NINTH AND TENTH HARVARD MBA. WE ARE PROUD OF THOSE STUDENTS WHO'VE EXCELLED TO GO TO THE IVY LEAGUE SCHOOLS, QUITE FRANKLY WE ARE PROUD OF ALL OF THEM.

REPORTER: THE FOUNDATION IS POPULAR AMONGST STUDENTS FROM A VARIETY OF BACKGROUNDS, BUT MILLER FEELS ANYONE COULD BENEFIT.

SOUNDBITE:THE BE A LEADER FOUNDATION IS FOR ANYONE INTERESTED IN GOING TO COLLEGE. THE WAY THEY HELP, IT PREPARES ANYONE.
SOUDNBITE: YOU HAVE TO BE CHALLENGED. YOU CAN GO TO COLLEGE NO MATTER WHAT. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A 4.0GPA AND HAVE SO MANY LEADERSHIP SKILL, AS LONG AS YOU ARE DRIVEN AND MOTIVATED TO BE CHALLENGED, THAT'S WHAT MATTERS.

REPORTER: WHEN THE THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS WALK, THEIR GOAL IS NOTHING LESS THAN THEIR FUTURE, A FUTURE WHERE COLLEGE IS A REALITY FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS IT.

TED SIMONS: THE BE-A-LEADER FOUNDATION ALSO OFFERS EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOPS FOR PARENTS. THAT'S IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

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