Empowering His Community: Adrian’s Mentorship Story

Adrian Morales, owner of INNERCITY Skateshop, shares the story of his mentor’s influence on his life and how he pays it forward in his community.

As a high school student, Adrian Morales did not originally think about going to college. A first-generation Mexican-American, the Los Angeles native did not have parents who attended college or adequate resources at his school to learn more about his options. He did, however, have a mentor, Tivoli, to show him what opportunities were open to people with college degrees and guide him through the application process.

“[Tivoli] is the sole reason I got accepted into college and graduated,” Adrian says. “It was all thanks to a mentor who was willing to give her time to show me the application process and the value of a degree.”

Adrian graduated from California State University, Northridge with a BS in Marketing. He is now a marketing professional who owns INNERCITY Skateshop in Lincoln Heights, the predominantly Hispanic neighborhood where he grew up. He uses the store as a safe space for the skateboarding community, and even supports individuals through competitions and industry connections.

Adrian believes education and mentorship are crucial for young people, especially when it comes to empowering the Hispanic community like his own.

“Not only is it important to have a mentor [to] create excitement and walk through the process step-by-step, but having a mentor with a similar background as the applicant goes a long way to help the student visualize success,” he explains. “I wouldn’t be where I’m at in my career today without my education.”

You can be a mentor to guide a young person like Adrian! Sign up today at https://imentor.org/get-involved/become-a-mentor.