Minds Matter is an opportunity to make your dreams come true. As long as you believe in yourself and want to go beyond anything you’ve been capable of before, those dreams can come true. It’s an entire world of its own with alumni, connections, and opportunities being available all the time.”Kalayla, Class of 2020
Minds Matter taught me the importance of understanding, teamwork, and leadership. Through the affection of my mentors, patience of my instructors, and support of the Minds Matter family, I gained hope in a better future; a future founded on the belief of the power of education, strength of perseverance, and appreciation of diversity. I entered my first session to a room filled with strangers, and will leave my last session knowing that I have a second family.”Jackie, Class of 2014
One of the greatest decisions of my life has been to join Minds Matter. The material advantages such as the summer programs and SAT preparation Minds Matter have given me do not come close to the amount of love I have received. I always call this program my second family because I truly feel at home there.”Opemipo, Class of 2014
Achieving Their Full Potential
When Andy began his Minds Matter journey as a 15-year-old sophomore in 2010, he probably didn’t foresee his future as the holder of a Doctorate in Physical Therapy a decade later.
Dr. Andy, an alumnus of Minds Matter Los Angeles’ inaugural class, received the prestigious degree from Daemen College in Amherst, NY in 2019, making him the first MMLA graduate to earn a doctorate.
Andy’s advice to that 15-year-old he was back in 2010, “Listen to understand and learn, not for the sake of. Don’t take a second for granted. Take advantage of anything and everything that excites you.”
Kortnee graduated from Minds Matter Los Angeles’ first class in 2013, and she enrolled at Washington D.C.’s Howard University knowing exactly what her major would be–Administration of Justice, with a minor in African American Studies.
“I chose to follow this major because I got the opportunity to learn more about the juvenile justice system and its impact on communities of color,” Kortnee says.
She secured an internship with the D.C. Department of Corrections Juvenile Unit, as well as the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. As a teacher for AmeriCorps, she was placed in the challenging Las Vegas Valley educational environment. While teaching for two years, she earned her Masters in Elementary Education, Curriculum, and Instruction from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Jonathan was a member of Minds Matter Los Angeles’ Class of 2014 and earned his undergraduate degree in education from the University of California, Irvine.
Fearing reading as a child, Jonathan was inspired to pursue a Masters in Education at USC as he continues to see the same reading struggles among adolescent Hispanic children in his community working as a reading tutor. Jonathan’s educational philosophy is social reconstruction; he wants to shape his community by helping them understand they themselves can be the change agents.
In his volunteer role as a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) facilitator, Jonathan focuses on asking probing questions while creating a safe environment where students can share what they are feeling from the heart without judgment.
Opemipo, Minds Matter Los Angeles’ Class of 2014, completed her undergraduate degree at Stanford University. In August 2020, she began her medical school journey in a dual program at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science.
Seeing the inequities in healthcare, both in the US and Nigeria, made Opemipo want to pursue a career in medicine. She realizes systemic racism and gentrification create neighborhoods that don’t have access to healthy foods or proper medical care. She hopes to be a health advocate for underserved communities in Los Angeles.
Opemipo is fond of the relationships she built at Minds Matter, and the care and inspiration her mentors continue to have in her life.