"We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives." - John F Kennedy
January was National Mentoring Month, an observance that raises awareness of the important role mentors play in young people’s lives. During this month, individuals, businesses, government agencies, and community organizations partner together to recruit mentors for youth programs with the greatest need for volunteer mentors.
At AHS, Scholars can attest to the positive impact mentorship has had on them. Through the AHS Mentorship Program, Scholars are matched with older peer mentors during their senior year of high school, receiving help with the college transition and their personal goals. Participation in this program allows Hammie mentors and mentees to create supportive, meaningful relationships that strengthen the Scholar community.
In honor of National Mentoring Month, Hammies express gratitude toward their Scholar mentors. With so many wonderful Hammie mentors we could have highlighted, we decided to feature reflections on the mentorship of Carolina Sosa (2014), Jojo Kuria (2011), and Hassan Hassen (2013), each of whom have built storied Hammie “dynasties” by taking on multiple mentees in numerous cohorts. Says Anh-Tu Lu (2015), “My mentor, Carolina, has helped to provide me with different information about programs and scholarships that I qualify for. Whenever I needed resources, Carolina always ensured that I achieved my intentions and goals. She has been one of the biggest influences in my life, for instance, by encouraging me to work in Senegal through Global Citizen Year, and I hope to be as a great mentor to someone else as she is to me.” Sterlie Achille (2013) comments, “Jojo encourages me, celebrates with me (she flew in on my college graduation day!), and her trust in my vision has helped me to graduate on time. She often tells me, "I will always have your back," and every single time, her support is there without fail! Jojo, THANK YOU for being more than just my mentor (who forces me to practice self-care even when I deem it unimportant), but also, thank you for being my fun older sis, my inspirational friend, and my valuable role model!” Esther Brown (2015) adds, “As a mentor, Hassan has assured me that I can do anything I’ve ever really wanted. As a friend, he always challenges me to navigate my own path in the manner that is most consistent with the way I am wired as a person. Hassan will be a lifetime mentor and friend! Thanks to the Hammie family for connecting us."
In addition to the mentorship Scholars receive during their college transition, AHS also facilitates mentorship connections that assist them during their career transition. Our Career Readiness and Career Transition curriculum gives Scholars the opportunity to develop relationships with professionals in their fields of interest through resume reviews, informational and mock interviews, and Texas Leader Weekend career site visits. With an increasingly robust network of alumni and professional volunteers, and through the generosity of our supporters, we are constantly strengthening our Mentorship Program and empowering the next generation of leaders.
To learn more about how to participate in National Mentoring Month events, including International Mentoring Day (1/17) and #ThankYourMentorDay (1/25) please visit www.mentoring.org.