By Freidricka Camille, College and Career Mentoring Program Coordinator and Hawra A., Current Mentee
Photo Courtesy of Freidricka Camille
Happy National Mentoring Month!!! Every year in January, I look forward to reflecting on the positive impact that mentors have had in my life. I recall being in high school and broadening my perspective on issues outside of the influence of my parents. I also fondly remember my mentors in college and as a young professional when they helped me navigate challenging workplace dynamics and advocate for myself. Thus, today, it is truly an honor to facilitate meaningful connections, growth, and transformations for mentors and mentees.
I am grateful for our community of mentors, who encourage our young people to recognize and to unlock their full potential in order to be their whole selves. Mentors are an integral part of the success of our positive youth development approach. I am also thankful for our youth, our mentees who place their trust in us and let us partner in their growth and development.
In recognition of National Mentoring Month 2019, Asian American LEAD (AALEAD)’s Mentoring Programs will be taking over AALEAD’s social media accounts to raise awareness on the importance of mentoring and to share the impact of mentoring programs on our youth.
This week, we are highlighting the College and Career Mentoring Program (CCMP), which supports older youth in planning for and navigating post-secondary transitions in life after high school. The CCMP aims to empower and enable youth to reach their full potential through the support of a mentor. Youth in the program receive the needed resources and support to ease the transition to college, employment, and self-actualization.
Our first blog post features the mentorship of Hawra. She and her mentor Amy B. have been matched since May 2018. Thank you, Hawra, for contributing to our National Mentoring Month blog series! – Freidricka
I joined AALEAD back in 11th grade at Montgomery Blair High School! I am currently attending Montgomery College as an International Studies major and plan to transfer to the University of Maryland-College Park in the fall of 2019. I chose my career path because I wanted to (support the cause of) refugees. It is an issue that is close and dear to my heart, helping immigrants and immigration policy in the United States. I hope to give back to my community by becoming a mentor myself in the near future.
What can you tell us about your College and Career Mentor?
My mentor is Amy B. We were matched in May, so I have been her mentee for around 8 months. I really appreciate her kindness because she shares her knowledge and experiences with me, and she is a person I look up to for advice. I admire how Amy is always ready to listen, is approachable and available for me anytime I need her. It feels great to have someone to rely on that also has experience.
What do you do with your mentor?
I really enjoy adventuring with my mentor to museums. Amy brought to my attention the National Museum of Women in the Arts, which was an amazing experience and something I completely would have not seen if not for her. I enjoy setting both short-term and long-term goals with Amy for myself. In addition, I really rely on Amy’s personal experiences when I seek her advice for more personal matters and really take her words seriously. To me, Amy is more than just a mentor; she is family.
In what ways has your mentor supported you in navigating college and finding opportunities that align with your future?
Amy has definitely sometimes been more on top my schedule than I am! Amy has helped me with exam studying techniques. We have talked about work situations and what field I would like to shadow if given the opportunity. Currently, she is helping me apply for internships during the spring semester! Amy has helped shape me into being my ideal future self by exposing me to new perspectives and solving problems in a way that I had not considered before. Having a mentor like Amy has definitely helped ease my load this semester.
How does your mentor guide you towards an ideal future vision for yourself?
Amy is always pushing me to become a better me. Whether it be removing myself from a toxic environment to helping me set goals for myself, I achieve with her help. This semester, one of my main goals is to apply to internships; and with Amy’s help I will ideally have one lined up later this month. In addition, Amy’s help does not just stop with helping me apply. We practice job interview questions and hold mock sessions with each other which really help, especially phone interviews which happen very often.
What advice do you have to give other college students who are considering getting a mentor?
Get a mentor! It is important to have someone that you can learn from in a close context with personal attention. I would have loved to have a mentor (when I was) younger, but having one in college is just as important. As young adults, we have the impression that we know everything, and if we do not– we can google the answer. Yet at the end of the day, I would rather take my mentor’s words of wisdom rather than anyone else’s! Having a mentor really helps. All I had to do was express my interest, and I got someone who shares their wisdom with me at no cost. It is a great deal and does not cost a thing except a small investment of your time.
Interested in learning more about the College and Career Mentoring Program?
Stay tuned on AALEAD’s Blog posts and Social Media Platforms this month to learn more about other AALEAD’s Mentoring Programs and the impact of mentoring on a young person’s life!