National Mentoring Month
January is National Mentoring Month, and this January marks 1 year of mentoring for me. I was curious about ways to become involved in the Rochester community when I attended the Community Service Fair during the fall of my freshman year. There, I learned about Compeer, a program in Rochester that provides several support services to community members. One program Compeer runs is a mentoring program, which pairs children and adults with mentors. After an interview process, a background check, and some training, I was paired with my mentee, a bright, creative 12-year-old boy.
I typically spend a few hours every Saturday with my mentee. We’ve visited many places in Rochester like the Strong National Museum of Play, Seneca Park Zoo, and Seabreeze Amusement Park. Before winter break, we visited the George Eastman House to view a Gingerbread House Display. Can you believe this gingerbread house?
Mentoring has been a great way for me to give back to the community and even learn a few things myself. I’ve visited several places that I probably wouldn’t have known about (Compeer monthly calendars with events and special offers help with this!). I’ve guided my mentee through new math problems and told him about how I keep calm in stressful situations, while learning a whole lot about roller coasters (one of his favorite topics) and laughing about the kind of jokes only a 12-year-old could produce. Altogether, I’ve had a great experiencing mentoring, and I’m looking forward to the next time I mentor; a trip to the Strasenburgh Planetarium is scheduled for this weekend!
If you’re interested in becoming involved with community service, there are many opportunities for students at RIT. Make sure to check out the RIT Leadership Institute & Community Center, which hosts the annual Community Service Fair and many other events throughout the year. Several organizations and clubs host their own events as well.
Simple efforts can go a long way. I challenge you to volunteer some of your time to your community this month, in honor of National Mentoring Month.