Mentors Help Students Set and Achieve Goals

November 1st, 2017

Mentoring is an invaluable component of Paul’s Place’s after-school programs for students in 1st through 12th grades. The connection between caring adults and students can increase students’ confidence, self-esteem and outlook for the future. Sometimes the student-mentor relationship extends beyond Paul’s Place, and the result is a friendship that benefits both people. Dannielle and Charlotte are a great example!

Charlotte and Dannielle show off the dragon costume they sewed together.

Dannielle is a senior in high school and has participated in our after-school program since elementary school. In the 10th grade, she was paired with her mentor Charlotte – now also a good friend. Dannielle and Charlotte developed a strong relationship as they talked about what was happening in their lives, worked together on homework, and played games. (Dannielle taught Charlotte to play chess!) Charlotte has supported Dannielle through high school and is now helping her set goals for the future.

Dannielle has worked hard, with Charlotte’s help, to complete tasks that prepare her for the future. Dannielle loves animals and art and is hoping to combine those interests with a career in taxidermy. Last spring, Charlotte and Dannielle visited a taxidermist in Havre de Grace to learn more about the career; Dannielle knew all the terms and tools of the trade and asked insightful questions that helped her re-focus her plans for the future on becoming a veterinarian and taxidermist.

The pair then turned to the college search and application process. Dannielle shared with Charlotte what she is looking for in a college – schools with pre-vet programs within 3 hours of Baltimore – and Charlotte helped her research schools and narrow down her list. Together, they spent the first two months of this school year studying for the SAT which Dannielle took earlier this month. As a reward for studying hard for the SAT, Charlotte and Dannielle sewed a dragon costume for Halloween together (pictured). Dannielle is applying to four schools and is working on her application essays. Next, they will be researching scholarships and grants to pay for her education.

Once Dannielle finds out where she’s accepted, the two friends will visit the schools together and discuss which school is the best fit. Charlotte will be by Dannielle’s side as she transitions from home to college – to answer questions, help with college forms, and provide encouragement. Dannielle is grateful to have Charlotte in her life and loves how much fun they have together. Charlotte has enjoyed working with Dannielle and likes how Dannielle keeps her plugged into certain aspects of the world she wouldn’t be if she weren’t spending time with a teenager.