President Obama and Young Americans

Guiding a Future

“Tales of Excellence, Achievement and Mentorship” or “TEAM” is weekly series partnered with StudentMentor.org where we feature college students and young Americans from diverse backgrounds across the country who are using mentorships to move their career and educational goals forward. You will hear in their own words how mentors have helped them succeed to transform into the leaders of tomorrow.

Through StudentMentor.org, college students can conveniently find and collaborate with mentors to successfully graduate from college and embark on their desired careers.

This week’s story features Laura Going, a mentee whose experience with StudentMentor.org helped her realize her true ambitions and foster her desire to mentor others.

I stumbled upon StudentMentor.org while looking for career advice. It was the best accidental search result I ever received. From a family with no other college graduates and only one who attempted it, I was bound to work for slightly above minimum wage for the rest of my life. I had earned my 2 year technical certificate from a local community college and went to work in the aforementioned category. Something was missing. I was bored, disappointed and unhappy. The decision to obtain that certification was based on the fact that I already knew some of it and it was fast. I excelled with no real effort, biding my time until I could go to work. Now, four years later here I was with a brand new plan but absolutely no way to execute it. I had nowhere to begin and no one to turn to. The college advisors were busy and couldn’t put their finger on what I was asking. Alas, what was I to do?

Late one night I put my information request into the StudentMentor.org application and from then on out my world has turned on its ear. My mentor, Allyson, has been the biggest blessing. This woman has opened her ears, answering all of my questions, cheerleading me on. She has looked into her personal resources to answer some very specific questions that I had. If she couldn’t answer it she made phone calls, got me in touch with others who could. She researched the degree plans at different colleges that I had looked into. Allyson has gone above and beyond, taking time out of her busy life to help a girl states away with no idea how to succeed. It was the first time I wasn’t expected to know all the answers. I could just ask my questions. There was no other place where I could get that. She helped me to not only decide to go ahead with my longtime dream, but helped me learn how to get there. She helped me turn my vague, nameless desires into a very specific goal, with a clear cut path to get there. Allyson helped me draw my own game board instead of just rolling the dice. She never shied away from telling me where things would be hard, but she always expressed her belief that I would do well, I would make it. Not even my own parents or the school advisors made me feel justified in my confidence in this dream.

Every day from here on out, when I start school again, when I begin grad school, when I graduate and when I receive my offer of employment I will think of and be grateful for Allyson, and the StudentMentor.org team. Their names will ring from my lips whenever I am recognized, when I am honored. I happen to think very highly of myself, but I would be a fool if I did not take this time to realize that I would never have been able to embark on this journey without these very special people. I hope someday to become a mentor and help someone else take their first steps to their own personal dream. Thank you sincerely StudentMentor.org. Please continue to do what you are doing. Our futures are being shaped by your hands.

 

Check out previous TEAM blog posts:

 

Ronnie Cho is an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement.

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