Shilesky Montalvo Serves as Mentor to High School Youth
One of the core missions of Lebanon Valley College is to create students who are committed to giving back—and English major Shilesky Montalvo '19 has taken this mission to heart.
Montalvo, who is minoring in law and society, is one of several current LVC students who acts as a mentor for those enrolled in the Lebanon Valley Educational Partnership (LVEP) program.
The LVEP program, which began in 1989, partners current LVC students with eighth graders and high school students in the Lebanon School District who are excelling academically, but whose financial situation might otherwise prevent them from attending college. Students who successfully complete the LVEP program are then eligible for a tuition scholarship at The Valley.
Montalvo, who grew up in Lebanon and had several friends who participated in the LVEP program during high school, views the program as beneficial for many reasons.
“When you go from high school to college, it’s a big transition,” she said. “Getting to see and talk to us students while we’re here in college, and hear about our experiences, it gives them a little more understanding of what to expect when they go to college.”
Montalvo points out that the involvement required of those in the LVEP program benefits more than just the students themselves.
While the normal schedule of the day includes an educational session, where college prep is often discussed, followed by dinner, Montalvo's favorite part of the day is when the mentors and students leave campus for a fun activity. Sometimes, this means going bowling or ice skating, but usually it means taking the students to local service projects.
“My favorite memory has been doing community service at the retirement home,” she said. “It was a really great experience, going into Cornwall Manor, playing bingo, and putting a smile on the residents’ faces.”
The LVEP program has existed thanks in large part to the sponsorship and donations of local businesses, groups, and individuals. Visit www.lvc.edu/alumni-giving/support-lvc/where-to-give/lebanon-valley-educational-partnership-lvep/ to learn more about the LVEP program and to provide support to help these students achieve success in college and life.
Along with Montalvo's involvement with the LVEP program, Montalvo is also a Valley Ambassador and serves as a student representative on the College's Board of Trustees.
Jess Coughlin for ENG 430 Feature Writing