Uniting our community in support of quality public education since 1986.

Doorways Program

Changing lives

Seventy-three-year-old Enid Arroyo has become a bit of a staple around Seminole High School over the past 10 years. Chances are, if there’s a school activity, she’s there supporting it. If there’s a drama production in the works, you’ll most likely see her in the audience. Most teachers know her by name and on any given week, you’ll find her on campus multiple times, but it’s not because she’s a Seminole alumnus or has had any of her own children graduate from the high school.

Enid is a Doorways Mentor to three Seminole High students and is so completely involved in each of their lives that she’s become like family to each of them. And as they gathered together in a small conference room to talk, it became clear why.

For the past three years, Enid has mentored Artur Izvuk. Artur is a special needs senior with a condition that normally confines him to his power wheelchair and makes speaking a challenge. But to meet him, you instantly fall in love with his powder blue eyes and larger than life personality. He’s not only a Doorways scholar but also a Chair’s Scholar (link to website), and he’s extremely sharp.

“He has a great sense of humor and is a very intelligent young man. Artur always puts forth his best effort in what he does, and has a positive attitude towards life in general,” Enid stated. “I’ve tutored him in several subjects and he’s done well in all of them.” In fact, to be a Doorways scholar, students are required to maintain a C average but Artur is doing much better than that. “He has mostly Bs and As.”

Artur and Enid have developed a special bond. “He’s been such a positive example in my life. But there is never a dull day with Artur,” Enid laughed. In fact, Artur is so adept using his wheelchair that Enid sometimes has a hard time keeping up with him walking down the hallways.

When asked what he thinks about Enid, Artur’s eyes light up and he smiles. “She reminds me of my Grandma.”

While Enid modestly deflects any praise thrown in her direction, it’s clear that her three mentees think the world of her.

“She is a great communicator and attends all of my extracurricular activities,” stated Alexa Williams, a sophomore and also Chair’s Scholar in addition to being a Doorways Scholar.

Alexa hopes to major in musical theater in college and Enid has been instrumental in encouraging her. In fact, Alexa was recently in the play “Carnival” and Enid was in the audience for most rehearsals as well as the actual performance. “She’s always there,” Alexa continued.

Enid has also been helping her when she has special projects or tests, or has difficulty with homework or deadlines.

“She really helped me in English. In fact, if I need help in any subject she goes into so much depth I have more information than I ever needed,” Alexa laughed.

Enid is proud of how Alexa has developed over the past two years they’ve been together. And it would not surprise her to one day see Alexa’s name in lights. “In the beginning, Alexa was more reserved. She has developed on so many levels and has a very natural ability to act. I’m very excited to spend two more years with her.”

Jacquelyn Hilliard is Enid’s third mentee. Jacquelyn is a senior and heavily involved in Seminole’s renowned marching band. She plays clarinet, saxophone and the oboe and is one of the marching band’s field commanders.

“Enid is very inspiring and always tells me to go for my dreams,” Jacquelyn stated.

When the marching band was invited to play during Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York, Enid was there for many fundraisers and events.

“I wasn’t actually able to go to New York and watch her there, but I was there for much of the pre work they did,” Enid said.

It’s that kind of support that has helped each of these students excel in the Doorways program and in school.

“I’m going to be an Elementary Education major at USF next fall,” Jacquelyn explained. “When Enid found out that was my dream, she gave me a special pillowcase that had belonged to her Aunt who was also a teacher. I feel like she was giving me a piece of her by doing that.”

“Jacquelyn has the personality to be a great teacher,” Enid smiled.

Enid’s encouragement, support and commitment have been unwavering and have impacted every aspect of these students’ lives.

“Whenever I see her, she always says something that will help me get through the rest of the week. She’s such a good role model,” Jacquelyn stated.

While Enid has provided that extra support each of her mentees needs to thrive, in the end, she thinks it’s helped her more than anything and she will continue to take on more students as mentees.

“I get a lot of energy from all of them,” Enid said. “Being a Doorways Mentor is special. I can’t imagine my life without them. I encourage people to pursue becoming a mentor because you can truly make a difference in a student’s life, and they will make a difference in yours.”

To become a mentor or learn more about our Doorways program, please click here.