December 21, 2001

Mariposas Program Matches Sherman Elementary Girls With Mentors

By Yvette tenBerge

Questions from 43 excited fifth-grade girls and answers from 10 "mentors" filled down-town's Old Spaghetti Factory on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 19, as the fifth annual San Diego Youth & Community Services and Sherman Elementary "Mariposas" group luncheon got underway.

In an effort to promote their program goals of encouraging self-esteem and self-awareness, and as a way to introduce the 10 and 11 year-old girls to future career opportunities, Mariposas recruited 10 professional local women to share their educational, career and life experiences and to act as mentors throughout the year.

Isabel Cisneros, Research Assistant for Digital Gene Technology, sits with Sherman Heights fifth graders.

Ana Nicasio is the Project Coordinator with San Diego Youth & Community Services who organized the event. "Our goal is for these girls to be able to learn about different types of careers. We want to open them up and make them realize that there is more out there than just teachers and counselors," says Ms. Nicasio, who explains that these are the only two professions to which most of these young women are ever exposed. "At events like this, we introduce the girls to news directors, journalists, scientists and much more."

Entertainer Margaret Skube attended the luncehon as "Britney Spears."

Among the mentors who volunteered their time were Newscaster Claudia Llausas of Univisión, Research Assistant Isabel Cisneros of Digital Gene Technology, Entertainer Margaret Skube and Journalist Yvette tenBerge of La Prensa San Diego.

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