Yesterday Tammy, a girl I mentored two years ago, came over for help with two essays. A quiet, brilliant person, Tammy immigrated from Vietnam at age three with her parents.
Tammy plans to become a neurosurgeon. This fall she will be a sophomore at the University of Washington.
The essays were for her application to major in neurobiology. Tammy’s fall quarter biology class grade will be part of her application. To her credit, Tammy was working ahead of the deadline.
“You are still the Queen of run-on sentences,” I joked.
In her essay drafts, Tammy took run-on sentences to a new length. I helped her omit needless word. This made her essays easier to read.
“These are superb essays,” I said. “I feel proud of you.” Tammy glowed.
I feel honored that this remarkable young woman still values my help with editing.
My children all had a few rough years, but are amazing adults and we're close now. My middle daughter is going to be my guardian and conservator when I need that. My oldest and youngest have needed me for new mom questions. Even when my challenging child was in her horrible teenage years, even when we fought like cats and dogs, or moms and daughters; she would always take a few moments and tell me she loved me every day. They tell me now they're proud of me for facing life's challenges. And I am proud of the strong women they've become.
I’m a middle school teacher in a low income, highly religious immigrant community. My students, mostly Hispanic, range in age from about 10 to 13, so a little on the preteen side. Of course they have no idea what MY religious beliefs are, but I think that because I’m a science teacher they feel comfortable coming to me with quite an array of life experiences that the other teachers don’t ever hear about!! “Miss, can we talk privately?” is pretty common... last year’s talks included:
How do I know if I’m gay or bisexual? Should I tell my mother that I got my period? I’m worried that my friend might be hurting herself. I miss my mother but can’t talk to my Dad about why she left. Ever since my brother died I don’t feel like myself and I’m always sad. My ADD medicine makes me feel like I’m not me, but when I don’t take it I can’t do any work, what should I do.....
How wonderful that students feel safe coming to you with their problems.
@Mitch07102 is right. The world needs more people like you.
Beautiful story. The world needs more people like you.
I'm a high school teacher as well, and I get that warm fuzzy feeling every time a student comes back to ask me to write a letter of recommendation, or to tell me how much my class prepared him for some really tough class he is taking in college.
You are quite honestly an angel. I know this is a religious term but if the shoe fits. I feel it is a privilege to know you as you are someone I respect, because of what you do. Thanks for your time and effort. I have reread your profile as it was mentioned that men are not doing this. I find that you like to sew, I learned to sew from my mother who made all my shirts while she was alive. It was great, receiving a box of ten or so shirts at random times. She also made wardrobes of clothes for several people one of whom had the disease where they do not grow. Great to hear that you like to do this, it is kind of like making furniture, but the materials are a lot less expensive.
Thank you so much. Being a volunteer college mentor is the most rewarding work I have ever done. It thrills me to send these kids to college.
They are first generation, low income students. They all have big dreams: engineer, medical doctor, neurosurgeon, teacher, and more.
Many years ago my first husband and I were close friends with a Jewish couple who had a teenage daughter. She was invited on a "camping trip" with her friend's family, which turned out to be a religious retreat with their church. They had tried to "correct" her thinking; after all, it was "her people" who had killed Jesus. She was a wreck when she got back and was afraid to talk to her parents about it, but asked if she could talk to us.
We were so surprised, because our friends knew were not "believers", but they were happy to ask us to help her and we felt honored to help. I felt so bad for her and so angry at those church people for what they had done to our friends and their daughter, I really wanted to do more than scream! But calmer heads prevailed (my husband) and we had what I can only describe as a de-programming session that lasted quite a long time. Thankfully, she is a brilliant young woman and was able to see through all of their rhetoric.
Her family is very close and many of their beliefs are steeped in traditions that go back thousands of years, so there is no way we were going to try to discuss any of that with her, but she needed to know how cruel those people were to do what they did. Today, they could be sued for a hate crime. I would probably be leading the charge!
I guess you're a teacher! Greetings from a fellow teacher.
I was a college professor. Since 2006, I have been a volunteer college mentor for low income, first generation high school seniors. I help them write essays for college and scholarship applications.
Last May, I was given the first Scholarship Rockstar award by the College Mentor Program. I was thrilled!
"I want to be a Rockstar!" Kris told me repeatedly. With white hair, Kris is standing next to me in this picture. She and Henry won Heart of the Mentor awards.
The last time I was with an 18 yo, the only conversation was, you do have a condom right?.
But seriously. I have learned from some great mentors in the few professions I've gone through. So I've always payed it forward, and help those who could use it.
It is great of you to help people with editing. Grammer was never my strong suit, but I do enjoy writing.
What a heart-warming story. You are a wonderful mother. Thank you for sharing.
My daughter was very difficult during her teens and early 20s. Now she acts loving, respectful and appreciative toward me.
I feel grateful and amazed at how much she has grown in the past five years. Now 28, Claire is getting married to a wonderful man in September.