Psychology and Child Development

College of Liberal Arts

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Wells Fargo Supports Bakari Program

Mark Corella and the Cal Poly Bakari Mentoring Program mentors

The Wells Fargo branch in San Luis Obispo and its vice president, Mark Corella (B.A., Recreation Administration, 1981), have been consistent supporters of Cal Poly’s Bakari Mentoring Program since it began in 2008. The Bakari Mentoring Program at Cal Poly, an offshoot of the Bakari Project located in Irvine and Los Angeles, is an intensive, evidence-based program designed to foster adolescent development by helping youth to become socially conscious, responsible and productive individuals. To date, Wells Fargo has generously donated $31,000 to the program.

Moreover, Corella, a Bakari advisory board member, has personally given countless hours to the program, working one-on-one with the Bakari youth and even teaching classes for the program on economic empowerment and history. He is passionate about helping the youth who enter the Bakari Program — youth who have been identified by their schools as at-risk. He talks passionately about the program and believes it changes — and saves — lives.

Corella points out that a unique aspect of the Bakari Program is its outreach to the parents of these young boys and girls. Having raised teenagers, he understands how important it is to provide support and education to parents.

As a Cal Poly alumnus, Corella is invested in supporting Cal Poly student mentors in the Bakari Program. The mentoring experience is an invaluable opportunity for students to see what it means to be in the counseling profession and to be faced with the challenges of helping those who are most in need. “It is a chance (for these Cal Poly students) to figure out if this is what they really want to do,” Corrella said.

Being a mentor for the Bakari Program, he says, is a true example of Cal Poly’s commitment to Learn by Doing. At the same time, he emphasizes the fact that the Bakari youth benefit immensely from the Cal Poly students who become important role models for them. 

The Psychology & Child Development Department and Bakari Mentoring Program are grateful for the generous support Corella and Wells Fargo have provided over the years!

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