Through the Scott/Ross Center, I am the Student Director of Gateway, which is currently a tutoring and mentoring program for a selected group at the John D. O'Bryant School. Gateway is a pilot program founded in New York that offers college access workshops and academic assistance. Incoming high school freshmen apply for this program and out a pool of applicants, fifty students are chosen. The partnership between Simmons College and the John D. O'Bryant allows me to be the person who recruits the tutors and mentors for our program.
Last year, Gateway was more focused on the tutoring aspect of the program and we sort of let the mentoring part of it just happen. Because I had origninally wanted to create a new mentoring program, Dr. Steve London, the Supervisor of the Scott/Ross Center and also a Professor of Sociology, thought, why not do it through Gateway? About this time last year, the Gateway Team and I decided to meet weekly to come up with a proposal for a mentoring program. Through numerous revisions and multiple meetings, my team and I was able to get our proposal approved by the site supervisor of Gateway at the O'Bryant! The Gateway facilitator, Danielle Ehrnstein, and I worked together to complete a grant by the Simmons Centennial Grant funded by the Simmons Board of Trustees. We successfully received funding for our mentoring program!
Mentoring means a great deal to me. I can honestly say that without my mentors in my life, I wouldn't be able to achieve all that I have today. I had a great mentor throughout my high school years, who is still one of my great mentors, Mr. Richard Vaughn, that guided me towards my goals and helped encourage me when I needed it the most. Mr. Vaughn introduced me to new opportunities, and he challenged me to take a risk with what I wanted to do. He was my inspiration in creating a mentoring program like Gateway Mentoring.
I know what it is like to feel lost and want to succeed and if I can ever have an impact in another student and be even a small percentage of what Mr. Vaughn was to me to another student, then this program would definitely have been successful and worth all the hard work! Maybe someday, they too can help another person and guide them to their goals. :)
Mentees Visit Simmons!
This week my mentees were on their winter break and they decided to shadow me in my classes and activities! I am very excited for them to see what college life is like. I feel like it gives them something to look forward to and work towards. I asked my mentees to prepare a reflection on their experience at Simmons and one of my mentees, Jennyde, agreed to let me share her experience on my blog!
February 23rd, 2012
Shadowing at Simmons College
I personally think that the gateway Mentor and tutoring program is a great opportunity for young students like me to get ahead and stay ahead. On Wednesday, I had a chance to shadow a fellow student at Simmons College. To get a feel on the college life was an excellent experience for me. I'm glad I took advantage of that day and asked questions that seemed to be bothering me about the whole college process as well as what I can do as a sophomore in high school to begin to prepare myself for the near future.
Who knew I would ever step foot in a few college classes as a high school student. I got to sit and observe students as they reviewed for an exam. Their note-taking, study habits and different ways of preparation was impressive. The ambition that each student had was clearly visible and truly skillful. One class that I really liked was Student Government Association. What I liked most about it was that I was able to hear the concerns from the students, their thoughts and what seemed to bother them as well as ideas and new ways to maybe improve their stay and education at Simmons. What really caught my attention was their "Hot topic". They spoke about stress and different ways to solve the issue. I really enjoyed that because it was all so real. I kind of understood what the students were saying and was able to relate.
Would I do this again? No doubt about it. In fact, I think that every student should be able to participate in some kind of experience like this one where they can familiarize themselves with their future, so when the time comes, they will not only be ready but they would already be given the knowledge and guidance of refinement.