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PEAK Celebrates Mentor, Loreen Strasser and PEAK Scholar, Alyssa Alverio

With graduation quickly approaching, PEAK mentor Loreen and senior Alyssa reflect on the past four years.

How would you describe your mentor/mentee when you first met them?

Alyssa: Loreen had an enormous amount of energy and I was extremely nervous to be around her. She was very happy to meet me and it made her easily likeable.

Loreen: Alyssa has always been outgoing, bright, and feisty! She was still figuring out what kind of student she was going to be. Always smart, but a bit rebellious.

How has your mentee grown since freshman year?

Loreen: Alyassa has become more confident, knows what she likes and doesn't like, and if she wants to acheive something, she can and does!

Tell us about your favorite experience with your mentor/mentee.

Alyssa: My favorite experience with my mentor has actually been spending time in the hospital during my junior year. It was a terrible experience and I was really scared but she helped me stay relaxed and keep calm. It made me realize how permanent she had become in my life and made me grateful for her.

Loreen: We have always had fun together! There's been an easy friendship between us since the beginning. We're both sarcastic and talkative, so our time togehter is never boring! We've tried new foods...sushi for her..Puerto Rican coconut ice cream for me, and shopped all over town. If I like it, she hates it! Our challenging times have been among my favorties as well. Alyssa has grown to be a person who talks it out..and that helps everyone.

How has your mentor/mentee impacted your life over the past four years?

Alyssa: My mentor has been with me for a long time and she has helped me with so many things but the most important thing she has helped me with is leading me in the right direction. I strayed a little and needed help and she proved she would always stand by me and help if I needed it.

Loreen: Alyssa and her wonderful family have been a real blessing for me. I've felt welcome in her life and learned so much through her sharing. We'll be friends forever.

What advice do you have for the subsequent PEAK classes?

Alyssa: Take advantage of having a mentor. Mentor's arent your parents and aren't you friends, but they are there to help guide you. Ask for help when needed. Do not be afraid to need help.

What advice do you have for your mentee as they prepare to graduate high school?

Loreen: Remember that you can be and do whatever you want. You've proven that again and again, with focus, you can get it!

Do you have any advice for future mentors?

Alyssa: My only advice is know that we are busy so sometimes we need reminders that you are still here. Don't be afraid to reach out too. We don't bite.

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