A huge part of my second-year experience in the Advocates for Communities and Education scholars program was being a mentor to a first-year student in the program. My mentee, Paige Kovacs, lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. Although Paige never imagined herself at a large school, like Ohio State, she loves the university and the amazing opportunities it has to offer. Paige and I became extremely close through this mentorship program, and I am so thankful that Advocates for Communities and Education scholars gave me the opportunity to meet such an amazing person!
It was a joke among other scholars in the program that Paige was a “mini Bailey”. This was because Paige and I had so much in common. Both of us came to Ohio State from Cincinnati, Ohio, and we are both majoring in speech and hearing sciences. Some said we both had the same bubbly personality which could be one of the reasons that we became such good friends right away. Paige is easy to talk to and always thinking of others, and I look up to her for those qualities. Paige will also take over my position as social chair on the leadership council next year. After seeing her dedication to her studies, I encouraged her to join the pre-health sorority that I am in, and she is a perfect fit! All these commonalities will allow us to stay close throughout our years at Ohio State.
I was amazed with how much Paige grew, as a student and leader, from her first to second semester at Ohio State University. When I first sat down with Paige, she was a part of a few clubs on campus, but she was not extremely involved in any. As time went on, she found out which clubs she really enjoyed being a part of and really became involved. Paige became extremely passionate about Advocates for Communities and Education scholars, so I encouraged her to apply to be part of the leadership council. She is also very involved in her sorority, and she expressed a desire to run for the executive board next year.
This experience has helped shape me into a better leader. It helped me realize how much I like mentoring first year students because college can be very challenging in the first year, and there are a lot of adjustments students have to make. Paige has accomplished so much this year with her talents and passion; she just needed someone to lead her to the right places and give her a little jump start. Mentoring is not making decisions and telling someone exactly what they need to do to be successful. Mentoring involves learning what your mentee is passionate about and directing them to the right places to use that passion to make a difference. It just so happened that Paige and I had a lot of the same interests, so it was easy for me to direct her to a lot of the clubs that I was already a member of, but that is not always the case.
When it came to mentoring Paige, I wanted her to know from the beginning that she could always contact me with any questions she had. I was not only doing this mentorship program to fulfill a requirement, I really wanted to make a difference in Paige’s first year at Ohio State and help her in any area that she felt needed some help. I would text Paige every couple weeks to check in, and I think this really showed her that I cared. Eventually, Paige would randomly text me with a question about ACES and eventually she would ask me social and academic related questions. I led her to a sorority that valued academics and a social life, and she really enjoys that. Because we are both in speech and hearing sciences, I gave her study tips and helpful information about classes. Although this may seem little, Paige appreciated having someone to ask these simple questions to.
I believe that there are many benefits to the Advocates for Communities and Education scholars mentorship program. Not only did I make a new friend, but it built my leadership skills. Throughout the year, I learned more about myself through mentoring Paige. I realized my strengths and weaknesses and used those to help Paige navigate through her first year at Ohio State. Paige was extremely successful in finding her place at Ohio State, and she always had someone supporting her through it all. I really enjoyed mentoring such an amazing young woman, and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for Paige Kovacs!