When we started the Ben Crump Law School Scholarship, our goal was to find law students who exemplify hard work, dedication, and resolve. The winning essays should capture the importance of mentorship and the various benefits to both being a mentor and receiving mentorship.
Cristel Taveras is the exact embodiment of those values. A first-generation college student heading into law school at Fordham University, Taveras started her path to the legal field after obtaining her bachelor’s degree. She worked as a legal assistant at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she met a close mentor.
Her mentor, like Taveras herself, is from an immigrant family and resonated with the struggles Taveras outlined in her ACLU job interview. Those issues included not being familiar with the college application process, not having anyone to turn to for personal advice on academics, and lacking the same resources as other students.
Now, Cristel Taveras has the support system she needs. “As I embark on my law school journey, I see the added benefit of having someone in my corner, offering guidance and advice along the way,” she writes in her winning essay.
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But what makes Taveras stand out is her unwillingness to solely soak up guidance and advice. She has also begun to provide mentorship to others. “For the past three years I have mentored one first generation student from high school through the first year of her undergraduate studies,” she wrote.
As a mentor, Taveras has learned more about the college application process (which was useful when it came time to apply to law school), has honed her leadership skills, and has given her unique insight into both the struggles of others and her own personality.
In another section of Taveras’ winning essay, she highlights this fact. “Mentoring allowed me
to self-reflect on how much I have grown personally and professionally, reminded me how much
further I can continue to push myself, and rejuvenated my passion for pursuing the career in law
that I wanted.”
At Ben Crump Law, we are confident that Cristel Taveras has a long, successful career ahead of her after law school. We’re proud to award her the $2,500 Law School Scholarship, and we hope that her story encourages others to pursue mutually uplifting mentorship opportunities.