Chris Mendoza, along with Sra. Mendoza and sister Elizabeth, joined me for dinner a night or two before the Los Angeles Law Forum. Chris took us to a great little Cuban restaurant up near USC (I think), and we stopped back at my hotel for this photo op.
Chris and I worked hard not only to make sure his applications were good enough for some top schools, but also to make sure we found a good fit to prepare him for his future role in the family business. We decided that a top school outside of California would serve him and his family better than the comforts of the local choices. He'll also be attending CLEO, to make sure he maximizes the opportunities Cornell will afford him. He wrote:
Once again you have proven yourself as being the best in the business. I just got into the office about 40 minutes ago and received an acceptance email for CLEO. Thank you very much... P. S. My mom and the family say hello and thank you."
The Mendoza family is an archetype of the American Dream when it works, and I thank them as well, for letting me be a part of their dream.
2007 update: Chris Mendoza writes:
I just got an offer to clerk for the Honorable Virginia A. Phillips, a Federal District Court Judge for the Central District of California. As you can imagine, I accepted !
Later in the year he received more good news:
"Congratulations! On behalf of the Board of Editors, we invite you to join the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy as an associate for the 2007-2008 academic year..."
He writes, "I will never forget how much you helped me. Thanks again." [she quotes modestly].
By 2008, he'd achieved more than he'd dreamed of:
1) I am now a Note Editor for Cornell's Journal of Law and Public Policy.
(2) I made it onto Cornell's Dean's List last semester with a 3.6 GPA;
(3) I was awarded Katten's Minority Scholarship.
(4) I just finished my summer associate program at Katten Muchin & Rosenman in Chicago.
In February of 2009, I met with big brother Pete, nieces Giovanna and Brianna, and their moms Indira and Vanessa, to help ensure that more Mendozas succeed in America. Kudos, to Chris and the whole Mendoza family!
2017 Update: Chris is Senior Legal Counsel at Citi (which I think is what we used to call CitiBank) in Tampa, FL.
And in 2018, we added another generation to the Mendoza success story. Chris's nephew pedro has been acepted to the U. of San Diego; when I get a picture, we'll give him his own page.