Mentoring 12 students for six years as they make a journey through middle school and high school seems like a big task until you’re in the midst of it. Soon you become engaged with each student, and spend a lot of time thinking and planning on what you can do to help them plan a course to what happens after high school. In seventh grade, it seems like a distant goal, but each year you build from the past year. Before you know it, we are talking about the best class schedules in high school, developing their passions into community participation, getting to college fairs and planning for college visits.
I started with the Re-1 PreCollegiate program in 2006, and I was excited to see success come to each student. Four or five years after high school graduation, those young adults graduated with their undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees. It didn’t take long for me to understand I was ready to start with a new group.
Right now, I am in my fourth year with my second group. I know these last three years will speed by for this group as they rush to put the pieces in place they need to continue their education beyond high school. I will do what I can to continue to encourage them to take a bigger world view for themselves, their communities and for their futures. –Paula Stepp