Dontay Graduates College - An Imagine LA Family Success

The eldest son from our first Imagine LA Family graduated from Sacramento State June 2015.

In 2008, Imagine LA matched Arlene and her three children, Karen, Dontay and Dareyn with a Mentor Team from Bel Air Presbyterian Church. At the time, Arlene was unemployed, dangerously obese, and in recovery for addiction. One of her children was in and out of foster care and juvenile hall; the second lived on a relative's couch in another state. The Mentor Team provided the family with resources to help keep and maintain their housing, help Arlene get a job, start a healthy lifestyle and remain substance-free. The eldest son Dontay, was introduced to college by his mentor Ken, that took him under his wing. When Dontay and Ken first met he wasn't even sure if he would graduate high school.  No one in his family ever had.  Not only did Ken attend Dontay’s high school graduation but 4 years later in 2015, Ken attended Dontay’s graduation from Sacramento State University. Words from Ken summarize the lifelong relationship that was built through the Imagine LA Family Mentorship Program, “When I had my first meeting with my mentee I knew we would be experiencing many rewarding opportunities of growth, but I never knew envisioned we would be establishing a "father-son" relationship that is still ongoing after eight years.  We both have grown to become better men because of this experience. Mentoring is as beneficial to the mentor as the mentee.  What you give in time, knowledge and support will be very gratifying.  Helping others helps you.”

Currently, Dontay is now working in a nonprofit organization that helps at-risk kids attain access to resources in the community. He also still travels across the country for speaking engagements as an ambassador for first generation college students.