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EPISD high-school students launch El Paso chapter of international mentorship program

Eric and Caleb

(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT -- Jan. 11, 2021) — Two EPISD students have taken their passion for academics to form a local chapter of Leaders United for Change, an organization aimed at helping students of all backgrounds pursue their goals.   

Coronado High sophomore Eric Jaehong Min and Franklin High School junior Caleb Choi last summer launched the El Paso chapter of the non-profit which offers mentorship and tutoring to students worldwide. The program is in 15 states plus Columbia, South Korea and China. 

“Their mission is to create a society where no student fails in their educational adventure because of lack of resources,” said Min, the El Paso branch president. “Just the idea of watching the people I support surpass their limits and grow into something they thought unimaginable fills me with joy. This organization gives me the opportunity to communicate and connect with numerous students across the world and allows me to share all the information I’ve gained from countless years of academic experience.” 

Min worked with Choi to get started and grow the program in El Paso. Together, the two have recruited more than 25 qualified mentors from El Paso and have reached out to mentees to assist in expanding the program.

“During my early school yearsI was always able to get assistance on work through older brother and sister figures," Choi said. "Likewise, Leaders United for Change provides sufficient learning while creating meaningful and long-lasting relationships all for free. We intend to become big brother/sister-like figures to all our students and give advice on life, listen to them, and help them on their educational journey.

Leaders United for Change joins mentors and mentees by Zoom on Saturdays for 90 minutes beginning at 6:30 p.m. to meet in breakout rooms. When the session ends, parents join in to talk to the mentor about their child’s progress. The program offers assistance in Algebra I to calculus, chemistry, biology, physics and English. The has been particular helpful for students during the pandemic.

“During this pandemic, there are many students who have a hard time learning and improving in their academic abilities because there are limited in resources,” Min said. “In the long run, I would love for other schools that are interested to bring up our organization to their students as an opportunity for them to expand their knowledge in any academic subject.”

Choi and Min, who met and became instant friends at the El Paso Korean Baptist Church, also teach Korean students English through the program.

“I have only done it a few times, but it has been a great deal for us to serve the people there and help kids that are in need of solid education,” Caleb said. “As a Korean born in America, I also had to learn English at a young age. I love teaching these kids because I see the same joy and pride in the mentee that I had when I learned English.” 

For more information about Leaders United for Change or to sign up, log on to leadersunitedforchange.org.

Story by Reneé de Santos