SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) A mentoring program offered through a college in Lackawanna County gives a group of teens in the Scranton School District unique opportunities that they can’t get inside the classroom.

A hands-on mentoring workshop aims to help first-generation Latin X students with career exploration and academic support.

Stars were developed as a collaboration with Marywood University’s Office of Equity and Inclusion and are proving to make a difference in the lives of these teens and their families.

Eyewitness News met up with the students of the Stars program during an eye-opening field trip.

This small group of Latin x students from the Stars program is taking part in an interactive workshop at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Scranton. Star is an acronym that stands for Students Together Achieving Remarkable Success.

“We meet once a week during academic semesters to provide homework help, social and academic mentoring, and field trips to introduce our youth to various educational opportunities and diverse career paths,” said Jenny Gonzalez-Monge the Stars program director.

The Stars program is offered through Marywood University and allows local residents to serve in their communities and help make an impact on area youth. For medical students at Geisinger Commonwealth Medical School, mentoring is required in its curriculum. On this field trip, first-year medical students are helping to lead this seminar in hopes of bringing more awareness to the different degrees and options that exist in higher education.

“I love it. I think it’s great to have the structure within our schedules to do something like this. I think the relationships we form with mentees is something I wish I had,” says Katie lee a Geisinger Commonwealth Med Student.

“Throughout my lifetime I did have mentors whether they were teachers or older peers.. they helped me formulate what I wanted to do with my life so in a way this is kind of giving it back,” said Joseph AbouAyash a Geisinger Commonwealth Med Student

The field trip not only gives students a first-hand look at the medical college, but it also allows students to become immersed in a clinal setting as they get to experience a day in the life of a medical student.

“It’s about building relationships and because there’s a language barrier that shouldn’t be the main reason a community is excluded through programs like this we are trying to build bridges, not only for youth but for the families,” Gonzalez-Monge continued.

Here in the medical science building, the Stars’ students experience a variety of skills medical students utilize on make-believe patients, and get a 3D view of the anatomy thanks to these giant iPads. The field trip was short, but the lessons learned will last a lifetime.

“I like that we learn different things every week and we go to places like this. When I grow up I want to be a pediatrician so that’s why I like to look more into medicine,” said Elias Rios a ninth-grade West Scranton High School student.

“When I entered the program didn’t know about these places until the program,” says Stephanie Coronel a ninth-grade South Scranton Intermediate student.

“So you think you’ve gotten a lot out of it?,” asked Giangiacomo. “Yeah!,” answered Coronel.

The Stars program started in 2018 with 20 students and has now doubled in size. There is room for 10 more students to apply to the stars program.

All you have to do is contact Jenny Gonzales-Monge at

The Stars program is funded through the William G. Mcgowan fund, the Robert H. Spitz foundation, and Gertrude Hawk.