Just 9 months ago at the start of senior year, Mary was matched with her mentor Nikki, a postdoctoral fellow at MUSC. The pair was matched because of a shared interest in neuroscience, and planned to spend the year focusing on career exploration and the upcoming college application process. As their relationship developed,
neither Nikki nor Mary could possibly imagine the friendship and opportunities the future would hold.
The pair’s commitment and dedication this year has paid off tri-fold: next week, Mary will graduate from North Charleston High School as Salutatorian of her class. Then, come September, Mary will attend Furman University to continue her education in the pair’s shared passion of Neuroscience. Although the school year is over, their friendship is strong and pair plans to keep in touch - Mary will spend the summer interning at MUSC in the same lab where Nikki works to gain her first professional experience. They say good things comes in threes...we couldn’t agree more.
Congratulations, Mary and Nikki on a tremendous year and a bright future!
It's hard to believe Spring has sprung, and summer vacation will be rolling around the corner before we know it. As the 2016-2017 school year comes to an end, so will Be A Mentor's weekly mentoring sessions. Whether you are continuing on with your mentee for another year or with the end of the school year comes the end of your mentoring relationship- it is important to openly acknowledge the situation and what your time spent together has meant to you both as a pair.
Read below for tips and tricks on having this discussion with your mentee!
1. Identify natural emotions associated with closure, which might include grief, denial and anger.
Remember your responsibility as a role model in the closure process. While you might be feeling loss and sadness yourself, make sure that your mentee does not feel as though s/he has to take care of you. Think about your own schedule and discuss with your school coordinator about continuing the match for the next school year BEFORE the process of closure begins so that you can talk to your mentee about this option. If you have any questions or concerns about the end of the school year or continuing with your mentee, please do not hesitate to contact us or your school coordinator.
Your dedication this past year has made a world of difference in a child's life- thank you!
April“He is learning how to set goals and work towards them.
My favorite memory so far is when we set a behavior goal that he knocked out of the park, and as a result we played Bounce-Off during one of our sessions as a reward.
There are so many deserving children in our community that could easily fall between the cracks and not achieve what they set out to, and I hope to reverse that trend in my work with Be A Mentor.”
- Towner Magill, April Mentor of the Month
Be A Mentor is honored to highlight Towner Magill as the April Mentor of the Month for his inspiring dedication to his mentee., Zy'meyir. While they have not been matched for long, Towner and Zy have have already established a great bond, and are tackling goals together left and right. Looking forward, he hopes he can continue as Zy's mentor throughout next school year and beyond- hoping to see him through high school and going to college.
Whether it is hanging out in the library or shooting hoops in the gym, Towner is making a world of difference as such a positive role model. Congratulations! And thank you for being such a wonderful mentor.
"Simply by not quitting, you will succeed."
This past weekend marked the 40th Anniversary of Charleston's Cooper River Bridge Run. Nearly 40,000 runners, walkers, and sideline supporters came from near and far to celebrate a beautiful day of exercise, sunshine and community. The cheering crowd lined streets, the hundreds of volunteers that make the event possible, the encouraging pat on the back from a fellow runner that helps you push on a little further- these are the acts of kindness that make the Cooper River Bridge Run an iconic Charleston staple.
The same community based mindset is what bridges the gap to success in the Lowcountry's youth who are "on the brink of success." Mentors are cheerleaders, volunteers and support systems. The hour a week BAM's mentors spend with their child helps bridge the gap to their future successes. Just like the Cooper River Bridge Run, it takes a community to reach the finish line.
"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." - Charles William Eliot
As a mentor, your guidance, stability and often times just your listening ear provides comfort to your mentee in their times of hardship. Your time shared is a source of support throughout the week, but where can your student turn when you or another inspiring adult is not available? In times of stress, whether it be school related, stemming from problems at home, or just internal anxiety, a book can be the perfect, calming, friend.
Karen MacPherson, children and teen services coordinator for the Takoma Park Library, created a list of books to help instill hope in youth and nurture the call to spread that hope throughout their peers during times of trouble. For young readers, MacPherson focuses her recommended reads on kindness, peace and feeling proud of who you are as an individual. Reinforcing these character traits is important for all students, regardless of age or background, but especially vital to those youth who do not have much support in their lives. For teen students, MacPherson seeks out books focusing on diversity and children overcoming overwhelming odds to make a difference in the world.
Click to view the entire article here, 19 Books to Help Children find Hope and Strength in Stressful Times: A Librarian's List.
"Mentoring means being there for support, encouragement and some days just to listen." - Patty Stemple
self-All of our mentors makes a world of difference in the lives of their mentees every single day. This month, we celebrate the compassion and true dedication to youth mentoring of Patty Stemple- a Lunch Buddy volunteer at St. Andrew’s School of Math and Science.
Patty and her mentee have been matched for going on three years. Over their time together her mentee has come out of her shell, gaining confidence in her social and academic skills.
“I enjoy seeing her master new skills. We have been working on her
multiplication tables using flash cards. She requests to do them every
week, and is now ready to move on to mastering division.” – Patty
Patty hopes her mentee continues to gain confidence that she can do anything she puts her mind to. We are so grateful for all our mentors, like Patty, who instill this self-assurance in their mentee each week.
1. As Spring weather rolls in to the Lowcountry early this year, rain clouds can be expected any minute. Inclement weather often make it hard for students to get outside and play during and after school, making it hard to be productive during the other parts of the day.
Use your time with your mentee this week to learn new, fun (math based!!) domino games that can be played with a partner or by oneself! These games are a perfect after school activity that will keep the student engaged and beat the rainy day boredom!
1. Ordering Products
"Mentoring for me is giving back and sharing attainable goals to my mentee " - Edward Holmes
"We are like snowflakes, all different in our own beautiful way"
With Winter Break right around the corner, you and your mentee will be parting ways until the new year. Use your last mentoring session of 2016 and this snowflake activity to tell your mentee just how special they are!
What you need:
Start with a square piece of construction paper. Begin by folding the construction paper in half. Fold in half again, so the pointy corners meet. Cut variations of lines into the paper triangle. Get creative! The more different shapes and sizes you create makes for a more unique snowflake. When you are done cutting, unfold the paper and voila! Use the markers to decorate your snowflake. In the center, write what is special (like a snowflake!) about your mentee. Add a hole punch and tie a loop of string to make your snowflake an ornament or door decoration.
When you are done creating your unique snowflake, trade with your mentee. This way, you each will have a reminder of just how special you are to take home with you over the holiday break.
"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."
It’s hard to believe that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is already upon us. Office parties, endless shopping, so many sweet treats are on their way, oh my! It will go as quickly as it came, so before we get completely swept up in the holiday haze, let’s take a moment to remember what this season is actually about.
In a recent study, it was found that one of the largest contributions to one's overall happiness is how much gratitude one shows to others. Volunteers who read letters of appreciation aloud to those they were addressed to showed increases in happiness of up to 19%! Those who had the letter read to them showed equally high (or higher!) levels of joy. What could be a better gift than the gift of happiness?
Give your mentee the gift of giving these next couple of weeks before Winter Break by writing letters together to people who have positively influenced their life. This heart warming activity is a fantastic way to remind your mentee of the family, friends and teachers who impact their lives, as well as sharing holiday cheer!
Click here for additional ways for kids to give back this holiday season!