Mentoring: Christy and Taysia

Mentoring: Christy and Taysia

Mentoring relationships, like that of Christy and Taysia, often continue well past high school graduation.  Taysia’s acceptance and full scholarship to Berea College were just the beginning of a whole new set of challenges and obstacles that many students face.  

Mentor Christy successfully guided Taysia through the world of college admittance as well as introducing her to the “hidden curriculum” – the mix of bureaucratic know-how and sound study skills that can make or break a student’s first year in college.  Christy assisted Taysia with navigating the confusing world of financial aid, transportation, banking, purchasing books, and connecting to resources in her new college environment.  She reminds us to “never underestimate how a mentee’s success in college can get easily hung up on a technicality” and encourages mentors to help mentees make the transition to college through collaborative attention to detail and reinforcing the importance of mentees connecting with professors, peers, community resources to ensure a support network once enrolled. 

While recent research shows that approximately 90% of low-income first generation college students do not graduate college within six years (source) , we feel that Taysia, with Christy’s continued informal mentoring, will continue to be quite successful at Berea. As additional evidence (2011 Stanford University study by Eric Bettinger) indicates, students with mentors throughout college are 10-15% more likely to advance to another year of college. Taysia is extremely grateful to Christy for all that Christy has done for her, and is grateful that “I always have someone to help me with school and life things.  Even if I’m in a bad mood, I’m always in a good mood after I talk to her. She been a really positive influence in my life, and helped me get to where I am today.”

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