Building Bridges in Macon County: October 20

Twenty-five Macon County eleventh grade students are part of a mentoring program with a dozen Auburn University students and graduate assistant Raven Conwell.  The project is funded in part by the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the work these students do together revolves around workplace and college readiness.  We meet each Thursday at the Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church on Highway 81 between Notasulga and Tuskegee.

After dinner (baked chicken, macaroni and cheese, and fruit!), we had the opportunity to meet Stephen Woerner, executive director of Bridge Builders Alabama, along with staff members Joey, James, and Corran.  Bridge Builders is a unique, two-year youth development program, and the Bridge Builders Junior Conference was the gateway experience for all of our students.  We’re looking forward to senior conference in June 2012.

True to the Bridge Builders reputation for experiences that motivate, challenge, and create community, the team led us in a game called Ninja.  It’s difficult to explain, but it’s safe to say that the game requires speed, agility, and more than a little concentration.  It produces lots of laughs, especially from the least coordinated people among us.

After the game, Raven and Leah led the group in the topic for the night: How to Interview.  Interviewing well is a skill that is developed over time and through practice, and the tips discussed were timely and well presented.  Handshakes matter, for example, and a wimpy, wet noodle of a handshake doesn’t exactly mean the interviewee is full of confidence and potential.

And since interview attire is important (and often misunderstood), the mentors held a fashion show to illustrate What To Wear and What NOT to Wear.  Our mentors/models displayed some persuasive examples in each category, and students held a lively discussion that covered it all (literally), from heals to tattoos.

Students will have a chance to practice their interviewing skills this coming Thursday, when mentors will organize mock job interviews.  Will our students pass the mock interview test?  Check back next week to find out.


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