Priyanka Kapoor first got involved with IHADLA in March of 2020, right before the onset of the pandemic, as a mentor to now 9th-grade Dreamer Scholar Melanie. Priyanka decided to become an IHADLA mentor because “mentorship has given me so much in my life, and it [IHADLA] seemed like the perfect organization to pay it forward.” Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused barriers in creating a typical in-person mentor-mentee relationship, Priyanka and Melanie have learned to navigate the challenges and have managed to build a primarily virtual relationship with each other for now. “We have only met in person once, but we talk regularly and are part of each other’s lives. It has been incredible to see her grow over the past year and a half!”
In the relatively brief time that Priyanka has committed to IHADLA, she indicates that it has positively influenced her life. “I love the responsibility that being a mentor has brought and building my relationship with my mentee has been so amazing. I’ve been inspired to get more involved with my community through other volunteer activities. My relationship with my mentee has also been so mutually beneficial, especially this past year.”
As for the role IHADLA will play in shaping the future of our communities, Priyanka thinks that “IHADLA is responsible for shaping the next generation. The program sets up these kids for success in such an amazing and crucial way — by providing them with a support structure. That alone is so important and provides them with a toolbox (emotional and professional!) to succeed.”
Priyanka was born and raised in San Jose, California. She attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she majored in political science and film. She is now an Executive Assistant at Orion Pictures / MGM Studios. Her advice to our Dreamer Scholars and their parents about higher educations is that “it’s a transformative experience on so many levels. Not only is it incredibly helpful in finding job opportunities after graduation, but it is a social and emotional period like no other. You’ll grow intellectually and learn about subjects you didn’t even know existed! You’ll also learn more about yourself and the world around you… Most importantly, you’re never too late to start!”
“I am so honored and proud to be part of this program!” she adds.