When Each One Reaches One, Success is Possible for Everyone!
I interviewed two sophmore students who echoed the importance of mentors and positive peer networks on their road to success.
Just recently, I sat down at a College Possible recruitment event and spoke with two very different but yet inherently similar sophmore students, 1 male and 1 female. I began to ask them about their plans for college in the near future and what they were interested in doing as a career. I asked them what drives them to want to go to college and how did they think they were going to be able to complete the process successfully. Interestingly enough both students began to talk about their older siblings going on to college before them and setting a bar they now feel compelled to reach. Both students admitted that this was no easy task as two of the female students sisters graduated from Spelman College and the young man's brother graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with honors and a variety of campus clubs involvement.
What I thought was most interesting about the assurance that both of these students expressed about going to college and completing in four years, is that they understood that this process could not be completed on their own. Their older siblings, who were once just siblings, were now being viewed as mentors who were reaching back and helping to push the next generation on their road to success. Each of these students, though only in the 10th grade felt confidant that in 2018 they would be attending their dream school because they had siblings and mentors that would make sure that they didn't fall between the crack and become apart of a growing statistic of minority students.
This conversation sparked some thoughts around the idea of virtual mentoring. All students are not privileged to have siblings that have went to college before them or mentors in their communities that will help see them to the finish line, however all students have a need for someone to reach back and pull them forward. With the advances in technology, the idea of virtual mentoring can be developed in a way that students feel accountable to their mentor and are secure in knowing that their mentor is committed to making sure they obtain a college degree. These two sophmore students reminded me of how so much easier it is to pursue your goals and actually accomplish them when you have a mirror in front of you of someone who has already walked out your path and are willing to wholeheartedly invest in your success.
[Optional] Synthesize a little! In one sentence, describe what you learned from your empathy exercises or analogous research. (Ex: Good advisors make a difference.)