Friendship Spurs Gift to Mentoring Network Program

The program aims to improve the rate at which at-risk students graduate from high school with the hope that they will pursue a post-secondary education

November 13, 2006

By Gail Matsunaga

Thanks to a friendship that John Reid Jr., coordinator of the Student Diversity Program, developed 20 years ago with his then-lawyer, the Mentoring Network Program for Student Success (MNPSS) recently received a $5,000 gift.

Although not directly related to MNPSS, but illustrating the reach of Cal State Fullerton, Santa Ana-based attorney Douglas S. Honig made his donation to the program in the name of alumnus and Rep. Edward R. Royce (B.A. business administration ’77), because of the exceptional experience his daughter had as a page for the congressman.

The Mentoring Network Program aims to improve the rate at which at-risk students graduate from high school, said Reid. “We give them information they need to make sound decisions, with the hope that they will pursue post-secondary education.”

Mentors from the university meet with students from 11 local high schools — Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Katella, La Habra, Magnolia, Savanna, Sonora, Sunny Hills, Valencia and Western — on a biweekly basis, covering such topics and areas as academic and financial requirements for college, leadership and networking skills, community service and cultural issues, as well as “keeping them motivated, so they can make a positive contribution to society,” said Reid.

The Student Diversity Program was born out of Reid’s thesis project. As an engineer at Rockwell International — where he worked on the space shuttle program — Reid went through what he describes as a “self-evaluation. I wanted to do something that was closer to my heart. I wanted to be a helper.”

He decided to take early retirement and began pursuing a second career, enrolling at CSUF and subsequently earning his bachelor’s degree in human services and master’s degree in counseling.


John Reid
John Reid