Phelps Helps’ Mentoring Program provides an opportunity for local high school and elementary students to build a relationship; mentors are high schools students who gain leadership skills, while mentees are elementary students building confidence for their transition into high school.
Last Friday during the local school’s planning day, our Mentoring Program participants went swimming at the Bishop’s University pool and had a tour of the sports complex. The students had a lot of fun on this new adventure, but what happened outside of these activities was what truly made the difference for these students.
On the bus ride from Stanstead to Bishop’s University, our program coordinator spoke to the mentors about what they find most challenging in high school. The types of concerned expressed by our high school mentors included the stress about what their future career would be, and the path needed to obtain their dream job. Elementary students listened in and even provided our mentors with some great advice about enjoying the process and not worrying too much yet. High schoolers, like many, also communicated how it can be hard to stay motivated when they have a lot of homework to get done. Together, the group of students shared tricks they have used to push through these tough times. Starting with the hardest work first, asking for help, taking breaks, giving yourself little rewards, and attending Phelps’ tutoring sessions were examples of tricks revealed by the students.
After swimming, the tour of the complex and admiring the student-athletes’ photos on the walls, students enjoyed a healthy snack while watching a Bishop’s University basketball practice. Students were inspired by the players. One elementary school student stated, “sometimes school can be boring but if I can look forward to cool sports practices then I would be willing to be good and work hard in class”. Motivation comes from many avenues when it comes to education - athletics was certainly an inspiration to these young students.