Over the past two years, EPIC staffers have participated in a student mentorship program at Hamlin Middle School to demonstrate our passion for career and college readiness within our own community. This past Friday, we made our second visit this school year to meet with students to talk about their personal experience in school and how their education can help them reach their goals.
Each EPIC employee works with 2 or 3 students during an afternoon, several times throughout the year. We first started working with these students when they were in 6th grade and, where possible, are continuing to meet with the same students over time. During the one-on-one sessions, a staffer spends time getting to know the student, finding out about their post-high school aspirations, and then reviewing the student’s report cards. We discuss the student’s experiences in class and consider the student’s perceived strengths or weaknesses. We then discuss the student’s aspirations for a career and what steps might need to be taken for the student to move toward those goals. The student then sets a few short-term goals to strive for between that mentoring session and the follow-up session. The entire process encourages self-reflection and student ownership of learning, two important aspects that allow students to take charge of their own learning.
This program is a great opportunity for both the Hamlin students and the EPIC employees. The conversation gives the students the opportunity to reflect on their role in their own education. It also starts the process of preparing students to begin thinking about college and/or a career. The conversation gives the EPIC staffers the opportunity to work one-on-one with the type of student that drives the work that we do every day. The mentors are also able to start these kids on the process of thinking about the possibility of college and/or a career, which is EPIC’s mission. We hope that the time we spend earnestly talking about the future with these young people will help them to put their ideas and dreams into action.
Want to find out more about this program? Click here for information on the work that is being done at Hamlin Middle School.