Brandman in the Community

Stepping up with T-shirts for middle school students in Tulare

January 27, 2015 by Cindy O'Dell
T-shirts donated

Sylvia Gutierrez-Mendoza arranged for more than 100 college T-shirts to students at Mulcahy Middle School in Tulare.

When Sonia Gutierrez-Mendoza, campus director of the Visalia, Hanford and NAS Lemoore campuses of Brandman, learned that not every student at Mulcahy Middle School in Tulare had a college shirt to wear on “College Shirt Day,” she leaped into action.

For Gutierrez-Mendoza it was personal.

“As a first generation college student myself, access to higher education has been a driving force in my life. When I received the letter from the young student (asking for a Brandman T-shirt), I immediately felt compelled to support him and his classmates,” wrote Gutierrez-Mendoza when we asked about a Facebook post from Tulare Unified School District.

Her son also attends an elementary school in the Tulare School District and she knew she had bought many college T-shirts for him and his little brother. She knew that wearing those T-shirts sends a strong message of hope and aspiration.

“If there are children in my own community who are lacking, while kids like my own have plenty, I feel a tremendous responsibility to be part of the solution,” she wrote.

So in addition the providing a Brandman University T-Shirt, she reached out to her friends at various colleges and universities, collecting more than 100 shirts in all.

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