Eight members of the UCLA football team mentored student-athletes at Crenshaw High School on and off the field this summer and fall. The Bruin mentors all are graduate students enrolled in the Transformative Coaching and Leadership Program at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies.
The experience was arranged by Julia Pelikhova, an instructor at the school who was inspired by her own experiences as a high school guidance counselor and cheerleading and marathon coach.
Through the program, Brittain Brown, Jordan Genmark Heath, Paul Grattan, Qwuantrezz Knight, Quentin Lake, Sam Marrazzo, Morrell Osling III and Shea Pitts each mentored two Crenshaw students.
“The experience with these young student athletes at Crenshaw has been phenomenal and pretty eye opening at the same time,” says Brown, a running back who was named to the UCLA athletic director’s honor roll after the winter 2021 quarter. “I never had a mentor growing up until I reached college, so I’m glad I could talk to these athletes while [they’re] in high school. Their program isn't as fortunate as others, so right off the bat I could tell that COVID hit their team hard, and they were struggling to get people to come out for tryouts. A lot of the boys were still very excited, but a couple of them definitely needed some extra motivation.”