Summary of Mentorship Experience

This semester I had the pleasure to mentor Payton Harvey through our scholar’s program, Advocates for Communities and Education Scholars (ACES). As part of my final year capstone project, I have documented my mentoring journey. As the spring semester concludes, this is my final entry.

Payton is a first-year student from a small town in Ohio. She studies psychology with a planned minor in art. She hopes to become an art therapist. She is a first-gen college student. A middle child, Payton’s older sister currently attends Ohio State with plans to work in the medical field. She is a junior and lived on campus this year. Payton and her family have been visiting the campus since her sister began at the university. Payton’s transition to college has been greatly eased by her older sister the experience she had with OSU before enrolling. (Unfortunately for her little sister it has been hard to have both of her siblings away from home over these last nine months.)

Payton has enjoyed her first year at Ohio State despite the challenges that come with the transition to college and social distancing as a young adult. She lived in the connector of Smith-Steeb where she became very close with her hallmates. (She is next-door neighbors to my old room!) She has succeeded in her coursework and especially enjoyed her in-person classes. She is hopeful for next fall as most of her classes will be in person.

Payton and I share a love of the outdoors and reading and an interest in helping people learn and develop. We both have a connection to small-town America and bonded over the similarities of our extended family dynamics. At the beginning of the program, I was unsure why Payton preferenced me as we had differing majors, hometowns, and listed interests. However, after meeting for the first time I realized we have similar temperaments and zest for life. After speaking to other mentor and mentee pairs this became very clear.

Over the course of her freshmen year, Payton has grown into a confident and capable college student. She has soared socially as she has connected with people on her floor, in ACES, and wherever on earth she manages to make friends in a pandemic with almost exclusively online classes and virtual clubs. In reflecting on the year, I realize I envy her ability to make new friends in this socially distanced world. Payton has strengthened her ability to study and complete school work. She has adjusted to the rigor of college well.

Participation in the mentorship program enabled me to grow personally, academically, and professionally. I believe that personal growth, community contribution, and strong relationships are the triad upon which happiness is built. I proactively pursue growth in each of these areas in all of my endeavors. Every goal that I set for myself must align with at least one of these three objectives. This mentorship program built my skills as a leader inside and out of the university context, assisted a fellow buckeye in their transition into our OSU community, and built a fulfilling personal relationship.

The ACES mentoring program provided me with an introduction to mentoring and peer support that I will use in my role this summer and next academic year as a First Year Experience Peer Leader. I can only hope that my 300 students will be a tenth as amazing as Payton is. Working with her has advanced my relationship-building and outreach skills, task management, and charisma.

Mentoring Payton demanded I build and maintain a close personal/academic relationship. I enhanced my cooperation, communication, and trust-building skills by working as part of a partnership to complete a project. Working on a project following the capstone guidelines and deadlines strengthened my ability to accomplish tasks efficiently. These skills will transfer to professional roles in the future. Maintaining contact and meeting with my mentee strengthened my communication, specifically interpersonal communication, skills. This experience made me a more charismatic individual.

Over the last two semesters, I have supported Payton by checking in with her periodically on her transition to the university and areas where she may need support. I have provided her with personal advice and shared my own first-year experiences so she does not feel alone in her challenges.

The mentoring program allows you to form a connection with a fellow buckeye while deepening your involvement with your scholar program. Mentoring Payton has been the highlight of my ACES experience this year. While I didn’t technically have a mentor my first year (long story!), I highly recommend the program to all of my fellow and future ACES.

Payton and I with Brutus

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