Big Thoughts

A Match Made in Think Big, written by Zuri Dacosta, Think Big Graduate

Meet Jorge Torres and Victor Molinaro-Perez, one of our newest mentorship pairings with Think Big. Since being paired in September 2022, Jorge and Victor have worked together to prepare Victor for a position in the construction field through their newly found relationship. We were able to have an interview with Jorge and Victor. Here, we are checking in to see what’s new.

Jorge Torres is an amazing Certified Safety Professional. With over 20 years of experience in the construction industry as an in-house safety professional and consultant, he is currently serving as the Business Unit Safety Director for DPR Construction. Jorge also spends his free time working in his own mentorship program for young safety professionals. “It took me a long time to figure out my path as a construction health and safety consultant and professional. The biggest obstacle I faced along the way was myself. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have some fantastic mentors that helped me find my way both professionally and personally. I now want to pay it forward,” Jorge says. It is no wonder that when Think Big presented him with an opportunity to help young Victor get into construction, he quickly raised his hand.

Victor is a high school freshman who began participating in Think Big while a middle schooler at Tomlin Middle School. He has mentioned that he has been interested in construction from a young age as his dad is in the industry, and after graduating from 8th grade, wanted to become a part of our mentorship program. So far Jorge and Victor have completed the career assessment and Victor is working on preparing for a job in construction after high school.

We asked Victor why he wanted to join Think Big for Kids mentor program. Victor said “I wanted advice about construction. I became interested in construction after looking at plans with my dad and thought it very interesting.”

When Jorge was asked what drove him to sign up to be a Think Big mentor, he replied, “I have a 15-year-old son that was an Eagle Scout and I do mentorship through Eagle Scouts. I enjoy giving my expert experience to help others. I saw this as an opportunity in safety and wanted help Victor pick a path to focus on in construction.” Based on the conversation with Victor and Jorge, we can see this path leading Victor to be a Safety Professional as Jorge mentions he would prefer with the growing demand for Safety Professionals.

Victor believes that this mentorship serves him very well and helps him see things more clearly to understand the field better. Whenever he experiences doubt or trouble, he says “I always remember Jorge’s words, ‘Never give up.’ This is what he always tells me and it helps.” Words we can all live by. This mentorship is very rewarding for Jorge as he gets to see this young man being productive and giving back to society. “Victor is a family oriented young man.” Jorge says. “I see big things in his future and remain a great role model for Victor as a young man”

So far, our mentorship pair has been able to take on construction tasks such as sorting, looking at buildings and plans, preparing Victor for the DPR high school mentorship program in his junior year. “It seems easy but in reality is very hard for most people to understand”, states Victor. The DPR mentorship will expose Victor to two full semesters of internship as a project engineer with the contractors, managers, and other personnel, giving Victor firsthand experience on the life of a person in construction. This program will help get Victor in line for his future after high school such as, college, internships, or going straight to work. To help achieve these goals, the pair are working on more consistency in meetups and calls and planning to spend regular time together to put Victor in the right mindset for success.

When asked about their future plans, we learned that the Annual Career Day is coming up soon with DPR Construction in industrial and commercial construction. This event will give Victor exposure to project managers and meetings to learn more about what they do. “This year is all about bringing exposure to the construction industry to Victor until he can get into the DPR mentorship program. He is looking forward to starting to work in construction in an internship and excited to get hands-on or visual experience in the day of a construction worker. Graduates from the mentorship program with DPR are now working with DPR part time and going to school.” Jorge says. The pair believes that this mentorship is one made for life.

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