Sunday, October 10

I just wanted to talk for a minute about this great volunteer experience that I'm a part of this year. is a website where adults can volunteer to mentor inner city high schoolers online. It's a yearlong commitment, and you get assigned three mentees (although you can volunteer for more or you might have less depending on demand). You're only required to spend an hour a week on the website. I started mentoring this year, and I currently have 2 mentees.

The students come from high schools that are participating in the program. That means that these kids have time set aside in school just for them to complete their icouldbe assignments. They go through the list of available mentors and choose which one they want. They go through a self-chosen curriculum- there are different paths they can choose, like college or vocational prep. What my job is as a mentor is to review each assignment they complete and give them comments. They can't move on to the next assignment in many cases until I pass them on the current one. For example, one of my mentees just finished her first unit, and the capstone activity for this was to write a professional email. However, the social aspect is also really important. My mentees chose me mostly because I'm in college, and because I wrote in my profile that I'm low-income like them, so it's my job to help them through applying to college, getting financial aid, etc.

This is a great opportunity for all of us as McNair Scholars because we're exactly what many of these kids aspire to be. I think right now is a great time for us to mentor because not only were we all in their shoes four years ago; we're also going through exactly what they are AGAIN, at the same time as them! This is an awesome experience to put on your CV, but it's also a great way to impact someone's life- in many cases, these kids probably wouldn't go to college if they hadn't had a mentor to help them through it.

If you decide to apply to be a mentor, just go sign up at the website. You have to answer some questions, and then it took me about 3 weeks to get confirmed because I think they ran a background check on me or something. Then you just wait until you get chosen as a mentor, but since school has been in session for a while now, you would probably get picked pretty soon! I hope at least a few of you decide to take advantage of this program!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this Blaise. It sounds like a very worthy volunteer experience, especially for McNair scholars. I think I may check into it.


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