Spotlight: Angel Ayala’s Path to Success at George Fox University

Angel Ayala was not enthused about the SetPath program in his Leadership and Character class at George Fox University.

At first.

“I always made fun of [our guide],” said Angel. “And he just laughed.”

As a first-generation college student, Angel balanced the weight of his family’s high expectations with the challenges of academia. He struggled to adjust to college life in his first year and started his sophomore year on academic probation and at risk of losing his financial aid.

But as the weeks rolled by, something shifted. Even though it was a requirement, attending the class started sinking in and changing Angel’s perspective.

“At some point, I realized this might help me manage where my time goes,” said Angel. “I thought, ‘What am I doing to help me become a better student?’”

 SetPath’s New Approach to Mentorship

At George Fox University, SetPath has reimagined its traditional mentorship model to fit the unique dynamics of a university setting. SetPath’s standard model is a 90-day one-to-one program where a planner (the mentee) works closely with a guide. They build a Life Plan using up to nine “Life Accounts” covering areas from education to career to money.

Recognizing the impracticality of one-on-one guidance in a university setting, SetPath collaborated with George Fox to integrate its program into their business school’s self-leadership and management class.

Every Friday, Dayne Scanlan, SetPath mission integration manager and staff guide, helped the students fill out their Life Plan. Then, he trained the students to work in peer-to-peer groups and mentor each other.

Angel admitted that these peer groups were awkward at first. They discussed many personal things, from relationships to health goals. However, he developed close relationships with his peers over time and still keeps up with them well after the class ended.

This group structure allows students to complete their individual Life Plans, but it also equips them with valuable group facilitation and leadership skills. It’s a dual-learning process. 

By the end of the course, similar to SetPath’s standard model, students emerge with a completed life plan and a 90-day mentorship journey. Moreover, this adapted university model gives them the added benefit of learning how to engage effectively in group settings and lead discussions—skills that are crucial in their personal and professional lives.

How Angel Found His Path

Angel’s skepticism of the course was palpable. He and his peers were navigating the unique group setting, which encouraged him to talk about things like academic probation, financial struggles, and the pressures of family life.

Besides school, Angel also spent time helping the local community and playing on the university’s club soccer team. Danye describes him as a good-natured class clown. His energy and sociable personality, once channeled into classwork, worked well in the program’s setting.

“Angel came to class every week,” said Dayne. “Midway through the semester, I started to engage with him more, and I could tell he was actually listening and tuning in.”

As the Fridays passed, Angel started to engage more with the program and connect his school life with his plans for the future. 

His passion? Classic cars. 

Growing up, he worked on restoring antique cars with his father. They worked on a 1953 Chevy Bel Air before his dad passed. Angel wanted an education in business management to eventually run his own shop, called The Angel’s Restoration, and honor that time with his dad.

“Me and my dad restored old cars,” said Angel. “I want to bring them back to life and not let them fade away.”

By the end of the program, Angel emerged with improved academic standing and a newfound confidence in his ability to navigate life’s challenges. Through SetPath’s program, Angel ignited a spark of self-discovery and ambition, setting him on a path to realize his full potential.

SetPath’s Future at George Fox University and Beyond

Angel’s success in the SetPath program at George Fox University is only the beginning. Our partnership with the university has allowed us to test our supportive methods in a classroom setting. With every semester that goes by, we’re evaluating and evolving our program to be more effective and helpful for today’s students.

The SetPath program at GFU helps our team reach even more young adults, helping them discover their purpose, hope, and direction through Life Planning and mentorship. 

Word is spreading. While the initial program is a requirement in the business school, students in other disciplines are asking about joining the program. Their interest goes beyond academic curiosity and reflects college students’ growing demand for practical and life-oriented mentorship.

The ripple effect of this program is a testament to its relevance and effectiveness. What has begun at George Fox University has the potential to spread, helping students clarify who they are, who they aspire to be, and how to get there.

Now it’s your turn. Join us as we shape a brighter future alongside the next generation.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!