Building Bridges in Macon County: November 17

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.

On this particular night, it was pretty chilly out but even in the cold weather our students brought in good energy. Everyone seemed excited to see one another and to get a chance to socialize.

During dinner our students and mentors enjoyed their time together getting to socialize and catch up on things going on in each other’s lives since they last talked.

After dinner, we moved to the sanctuary and formed our usual circle where I did “Good News, Bad News” to check in with the students. Most of the students were excited about Thanksgiving break and the time off from school.  Some students had to report to us their bad grades.

After “Good News, Bad News” we did some ACT prep, this week focusing on an  exercise related to the Reading section. We tried to make it as much like the real ACT as possible with complete silence and making the students spread out. We went over the answers, and I had some of the students explain how they derived their answers.

Then, it was time for speeches and the mentors were very excited to hear their student’s topic. A few students followed the assignment and came fully prepared for their speech while others, were not so prepared. Unfortunately, when their peers were giving their speech the students were not as respectful as they should have been.

At the end of the night, several of the mentors and myself spoke to the students about being respectful, coming prepared, and appreciating our time. We hope the students got the message, and we hope that after the break we will have a good final meeting with our students and mentors.

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