What brought you to HFS Chicago Scholars?
My aunt was on the board and recommended I join, and when I started engaging with the program I knew it would be a great fit for me. From Desiree’s drive and leadership to the scholars’ sense of determination and fun, it’s a program I knew I wanted to be a part of.
Describe your relationship with your scholar.
I’ve had two scholars now, and I can tell you it’s a wonderful adventure. Getting to know the scholar is my favorite part, learning their stories, providing encouragement and advice, trying to set a positive example. I’ve just been so impressed with my scholars, they are far and away more learned and mature than I was at that age!
How have you grown as a mentor?
I think I’ve learned that listening is perhaps the most important part. Allowing someone to express themselves, and bearing witness to it, allowing yourself to be impressed by their strides in life. I used to think I’d have to have the best advice and counsel, but then I realized it’s more about using the mentor relationship as a positive outlet for the scholar. So I ask more questions now. A lot more. And I listen.
What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a mentor?
Do it! It’s the best way to contribute – the most personal and impacting that is. Give someone another example and another set of ears and another outlet. It’ll change your perspective and theirs. It’s amazing how positive an example I find the scholars to be on my life.
Describe HFS in 3 words.
Determination. Positivity. Impact.