Building Bridges in Macon County: September 8

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.

Our third weekly meeting was the first meeting with all our mentors, and I think was exciting for our high school students to see new faces. Last week, a parent mentioned that she had a cornfield, so she brought us some freshly picked corn. After dinner our students shucked the corn, which for some was the first time. There was laughter, as well as some screams, because much of the corn had worms. After that, we moved into the sanctuary where we pulled the Full Value Contract out for our seven new mentors to add a component and sign it.

Last week, I assigned our students to find two colleges/universities that they would be interested in attending and identify the requirements for acceptance into these schools. For our students in attendance last week, everyone had their homework assignment and the schools ranged in many different areas of the country, though mostly the southeast. I asked the students who did not receive the assignment to complete it for the following week.

After we went over their homework assignment, we completed a fun activity of Speed Dating. I decided to use the Speed Dating activity as a way for me to match mentors with high school students, and I knew everyone would enjoy it. Everyone had five questions to ask the person and 7 minutes to complete it before they moved to the next person. The questions ranged from basic get-to-know you questions to silly conversation starters.

At the end of the night, I believe the students got to know most of the mentors very well and that there were many connections made. I am happy with each of our mentors, and I believe that the new mentors fit in well with our little family.

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