By Gabriela Cortes, Cal State Los Angeles
My Mentor and I won a trip to Chicago through the Lakers Mentoring Road Trip contest.
Going to Chicago with my mentor was the best experience I have ever had. It was my first time ever getting on a plane and traveling outside of Los Angeles.
The bond between my mentor and I became stronger.
I was able to meet other teens that have similar backgrounds and goals as me. One of which was that they are also first generation college students.
The Laker’s Foundation had planned a very fun weekend during our time in Chicago. We got a tour of Chicago and made a stop at President Obama's house! It was incredible to see his house and all the secret service surrounding the house. We also walked around the city at night and saw how alive Chicago was during night time. My favorite part of the trip was going to Kobe's Chicago farewell game against the Chicago bulls. Right before the Lakers started warming up we were able to high five all the players, including KOBE! My roommate and I were so surprised that we touched Kobe's hand because it was his last game and everyone was there to support him.
Throughout the trip not only did I learn how to have fun but also how to communicate with others. I met my roommate the morning of our flight to Chicago and now we talk on social media and keep each other updated. I also got the chance to talk to everyone who made the trip possible. I was able to understand why they made it happen. It's important to have a mentor by your side to mentor you through hard times. I want to thank my mentor for always being by my side. Thanks to the trip we were able to be a part of this incredible opportunity and make our bond stronger.