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Orange County Bar Foundation’s Higher Education Mentoring Program

by Doreen Boxer

After serving as the San Bernardino County Public Defender, Doreen Boxer founded her own law firm in Irvine, California, where she focuses her practice on criminal defense trial and appellate court litigation. Doreen Boxer balances her professional responsibilities with her role as a board member for the Orange County Bar Foundation (OCBF).
Among its many initiatives, OCBF maintains a Higher Education Mentoring (HEM) Program to provide individual and group mentoring services to Latino students pursuing a college education. The program helps students achieve academic and developmental growth by matching them with a role model who has insight into higher education success and experience with the Latino culture. Each year the afterschool program works with approximately 40 high school students whose mentors provide assistance with college and major research, as well as admissions and financial aid applications. Students also gain skills and information through monthly workshops, college campus tours, and seminars featuring guest speakers.
Founded in 2002, the HEM Program began as a female-specific curriculum designed to inspire Latinas in high school to graduate. HEM expanded to include a boys program in 2009, and now works to prepare both boys and girls from Santa Ana High Schools for college.                             
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