This month’s Mentor of the Month goes by the username “OliveJuice” (real name: Shanae Core):
Shanae felt the need for something to keep her focused and grounded in her life, which led her to find the icouldbe.org program. She enjoys most the online aspect of icouldbe, as well as the friendly banter, message board conversations, and the friendships that evolve between mentors, mentees and herself.
Shanae’s eyes have been opened by her mentoring experience: she was surprised to learn that in some of the larger high schools, classrooms have up to 36 students. She was also appalled to see students talking on the discussion boards about the dangers that they have to deal with on an everyday basis. Some of the students Shanae encounters when mentoring can be challenging, but it only motivates her to interact and have more in-depth conversations. She also makes an effort to be friendly, with a dash of “silliness,” in her email interactions with mentees, finding that to be an effective way to communicate and help the students – something she sincerely wants to do.
Shanae shares the three things she likes the most about her mentoring experience at icouldbe: Learning about the differences in the lives of mentees from her own life; giving advice and seeing her advice put into action (and hearing that it worked for them!); and discussing why “grown-ups” might do the things they do.
Shanae says, “I feel very blessed to be a part of this program. I can be having an off day here at work and a random email from a student will turn it all around. I might be young and I might be semi-inexperienced, but I am very eager to lend a helping hand… I never thought that I would grow so attached to the kids! They feel like family to me now. I look forward to all of their email updates, ideas, thoughts, etc., and I hope we continue talking throughout the years to come… My only advice would be to give this program a chance! The people, the talks, the students, the love—it’s worth every single minute of effort poured in.”