The Community Action Commission of Fayette County is inviting incoming high school juniors and seniors to participate in its Fayette County Mentorship Summer Leadership Program.
The program, which will run from June 20 to July 3, will prepare students for future career success with a “focus on leadership, character, financial literary, entrepreneurship,” according to program coordinator Erin Rickman.
The intention of this 10-day program is “to prepare students for the year-long program,” according to Rickman. The school year mentorship program pairs students with local professionals.
“We’ve got a lot of mentors that are willing to participate,” said Rickman. These mentors offer insight into a wide range of careers. Whether students are looking to attend college or technical school or to enter the workforce as soon as they graduate high school, there’s a mentor who can guide them on their journey.
During the summer program, students will spend 15 minutes with a different mentor every day. Rickman said she hopes one of the mentors they meet during the summer can serve as their mentor during the school year. If students don’t meet a mentor with a career they’re interested in, however, Rickman will find them a match within the community.
Students who participate in the school year mentorship program are expected to spend 30 hours with their mentor during the school year and to write a reflective paper at the end of the program.
“The goal of the program is to help them know before the next step what direction they should head in,” said Rickman. In addition to providing valuable experience, Rickman said the mentorship program can lead to an excellent letter of recommendation for college or job applications and a scholarship. The two students who completed the program during the 2016-2017 school year, Clare Sollars and Nishil Shah, were each awarded checks for $250.
Rickman expects between 10 and 20 students to attend each day of the summer program. Students are not required to attend every day of the program, but Rickman does offer incentives to encourage attendance.
For example, every student will be given a free lunch every day and a t-shirt upon completion of the program. In addition, special prizes will be given to the students with the best attendance. Students who complete the summer program are not required to complete the school year program, and students are not required to complete the summer program in order to participate in the school year program, although they are encouraged to take advantage of both opportunities.
The program is funded by a Community Connectors grant as well as grants from Vectren and Walmart Distribution. Rickman said she is always looking for additional funding.
Rickman expects about 25 students to participate in the school year mentorship program, as compared to the 11 who participated last year. She said the goal is to double participation each year. Rickman hopes the program will show students that they don’t need to leave Fayette County to be successful.
“A lot of kids don’t know what careers are available and feel like they need to leave Fayette County to find a career opportunity, but we have a lot more available here than they might know,” she said.
Students and mentors who are interested in participating in the program should text or call Rickman at 740-851-9247 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Megan Neary at 614-440-9124