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PEAK Mentor Continues Life-Changing Service After 20 Years

Changing lives is a marathon, not a sprint. This phrase captures the almost 20-year commitment of PEAK mentor and former Board member Loreen Strasser.

Loreen has served as a mentor to three PEAK graduates. All three graduated high school and went to college. The first, Lorena Velasco (née Loza), studied Finance at DePaul University and now manages a staff of 40 at US Bank.

The second PEAK graduate Loreen mentored, Sylvia Loza, received her bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University in Marketing. Sylvia works for Northern Trust Bank and is currently working toward her MBA. Loreen’s third PEAK scholar, Alyssa Alverio, is currently completing her undergraduate degree at St. Catherine University in Minnesota and is expected to graduate in 2021.

After years of service with PEAK, Loreen is as energized by mentoring as ever.

This fall Loreen committed to another four-year journey with a new PEAK scholar, Breona. There is obvious chemistry between the pair, and Loreen is confident Breona is destined for greatness.

When asked to speak from her experience about building a strong mentoring relationship, Loreen emphasized the importance of "understanding what is important to the scholar."

It is this selfless motivation, openness, and curiosity that has allowed Loreen to make an impact that will long outlive her time as a PEAK volunteer. Throughout their lives, all four women will continue to pass forward all the positivity that Loreen has invested in them through their healthy relationships and successful careers.

"You have the opportunity to change a student's life forever” through PEAK, says Loreen. “And that keeps me motivated.”

Helping students find their way is PEAK’s mission and what PEAK does best. We are grateful to have mentors like Loreen who are committed to helping our scholars find success one day at a time.


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