Want to make a difference in a young person’s life? Become a mentor with True2U! True2U is a volunteer mentoring program that helps Cleveland Metropolitan School District eighth graders explore their true selves and prepare to make the most of high school as the first step on the path to college and career readiness. In this guest blog, True2U mentor Kristen Vidmar shares her experience in the program. True2U is currently accepting new mentor applications through August 31, 2019! Learn more and apply here.
Why I Mentor
By Kristen Vidmar, True2U mentor since 2017
My experience with True2U has been very positive. It challenges me in ways that other volunteer programs have not, which is great. It is not often that you can help students think about their future, their interests, and relate to them about how everyone’s career path may not be clear and that is okay. I enjoy seeing the students when I participate in the program monthly. I believe these sessions are the perfect amount of time to engage with the student and make a difference. Over the 8-month period you get to watch them grow, learn about themselves, and think about the possibilities that lie ahead.
I chose to mentor in this program because when I started college, I had no idea “what I wanted to be when I grew up.” That question was one that I cringed at as a child. If I could not figure that out by the time I was eighteen and going to college, I do not expect an eighth grader to know either. However, this is a great opportunity to help them to gain insight into their own likes and dislikes so that when they attend a high school, they can explore all possibilities about what they might want to pursue after graduation.
Upon completion of the program every year, I take away a sense of pride knowing that the students are thinking about what their path of success looks like. I also enjoy sharing my personal experiences and letting them know that if they fail, it is a blessing in disguise. They can take their learnings and better themselves and others throughout their life journey.
I have grown through this experience in a few ways. The first being that I had to adjust my style of communication to one that speaks to teenagers rather than work colleagues or friends of mine. I am also reminded every time I am in the classroom that every person is different, has different needs, goals, passions, etc. and that it is important to view every person, no matter the age, for who they are. Lastly, I must admit I really enjoy hearing about the new trends or fads that are happening in the younger generations, and this programs allows me to stay a kid at heart.