Our Stories: Gillie Campbell, Mentor

Gillie Campbell photoGillie Campbell, Mentor, joined Esperanza after attending the annual benefit concert and began by reading and evaluating hundreds of scholarship applications. She has gone on to mentor several Esperanza scholars and recently joined with Tom Olson to help one scholar to transfer to Bryn Mawr College with a full scholarship to complete her degree in robotics and computer science.  Currently, she and Tom are helping other scholars who are considering transfers.

Gillie graduated from Smith College and holds a Master’s degree in City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She worked for many years as a planner in poor neighborhoods in Boston. Using her Smith English major, and adding a Master’s in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education at age 50, she became an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College, teaching many students from immigrant families.

I was originally drawn to Esperanza by its lively, smart, idealistic founders, then became more committed as I got to know the scholars themselves, whose resourcefulness, hard work and optimism inspire me every day. I want to help Esperanza fully support our scholars, and I want our country to fully support them as well.