In American culture, Friday is the best day of the week for many different reasons. Many students see it as the end of the school week and it is finally time to relax. Other students see it as a time to hang out with their friends and have fun. For me, Friday is my favorite day of the week for a totally different reason. For the whole week, I have been looking forward to spending my Friday afternoon at Deer Park Middle Magnet School, where I volunteer with the group Mustang Mentors.

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Mentors and mentees of the Mustang Mentoring Program

Deer Park Middle Magnet School is located in Owings Mills, Maryland. It serves over 3000 children and has about 1500 staff members. Despite its large size, our mentorship program is tailored to serving about 20 students. There is a selection process in which students have to apply to our program. Once they are accepted, we meet with these students and discuss a variety of topics, which range from classes, teachers, and even issues at home. My fellow mentors and I are always there to listen and help these children cope with difficult situations. One of my favorite (and also most challenging) moments was when my mentee disclosed to me that her friend had recently passed away and that she was having a hard time coping with her loss. Being able to relate to her, I encouraged her, and we had a great conversation afterwards about her other interests, as well as her career aspirations. From that point on, I meet with this girl every time when we visit their school and she always greets me with a smile and a hug.

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Student Nya Medley (right) and students at Deer Park

Overall, I thoroughly enjoy being a mentor through the Mustang Mentors. This mentorship opportunity allows me to grow professionally, while at the same time, learn how to actively listen to my mentees and be an importance source of support for them. Importantly, being able to encourage and guide an adolescent brings me so much joy and excitement. Looking ahead, I want to explore the career of being a middle school counselor. Learning that many children struggle with school and family problems really motivates me to make a positive impact on them. As a psychology major, I know I am gathering important skills and experiences to achieve this goal.

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Interested in a mentoring program? Contact Vaniah Hall for more information!

By: Nya Medley