Building Bridges in Macon County: September 1

Raven Conwell, a 2011 College of Liberal Arts graduate in psychology with a minor in community and civic engagement (one of two first recipients!), is coordinating the Macon County Youth mentoring program, funded in part by a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. She is currently a graduate student in clinical mental health and counseling education at Auburn University.

At our second weekly meeting, we opened by returning to the Full Value Contract and invited our two new guests to add words/phrases. The two new elements to our contract are Perseverance and Set A Goal. The students were very open to our new guests and their involvement. After that we did another icebreaker to continue to open of the doors for everybody to learn about one another. We played Autograph Bingo, where everyone had to find out different facts and characteristics about someone else and get them to autograph their Bingo board. We learned that we have several students who have broken a bone, several who can cook a full course meal, and a lot of students who like to read.

After that activity loosened everyone up, we moved on to the next activity, which was goal setting. Many of the students already set many goals for themselves, but most had never written them down. Each student was assigned a different category whether it was community, school, or family and was told to set a goal and to write the steps it would take for them to achieve these goals. Many of our students had some very ambitious goals but they had very well thought out plans to achieve them.

For most of my students, getting into the college of their choice was their main goal but some did not know what was required of them to get accepted at these schools, so they were left with a homework assignment. They were told that next week they needed to have at least two colleges/universities that they were interested in attending and the requirements that they needed to fulfill to be accepted.

I believe in our student’s dreams and goals, and my job is to make sure that they believe they can achieve them. I hope the activity we did tonight will get them one step further.

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