Earlier this semester, 40 of our EMERGE fellows across Houston ISD and Spring Branch ISD were selected to become ambassadors for the Laura Arnold Mentorship Program. This program serves to connect high achieving EMERGE students with Houston professionals that have attended top-tier colleges and universities. The ambassadors were paired with a mentor who provides opportunities for internships, networking, and job shadowing.
We were able to speak with two of our EMERGE fellows about their experiences with their mentors since beginning the program. Here's what they had to say.
Alejandro Vázquez of Northbrook High School - Mentors: Laura and John Arnold
Andrew Martinez of Westchester Academy for International Sciences - Mentors: Greg and Heidi Armstrong
Tell me about your initial reactions of the program and your mentors.
My initial reaction of my mentors was amazement. I could not believe I was sitting in front of philanthropists who wanted to support me in my education. I enjoyed getting to know them more as we talked about issues that mattered to us both.
In all honesty, they were quite intimidating initially because I had no idea what to expect. However, the dinner was fun, and the atmosphere was very welcoming.
That's great! Do you believe having your mentors has influenced your experiences with your education?
I would definitely say so. They have been supporting me in every way possible in terms of my education and also personal life!
My mentors are definitely an asset to me right now. They influence my decisions greatly. We are always in communication. Just this past Sunday, we went canoeing.
Wow, that's awesome. I'm a little jealous! Can you give any advice to the incoming class of mentees?
Do not be afraid to share your story with your mentor. Take advantage of the adult(s) that will be there to guide you through the best path. Your mentor is your friend, and he/she will always be there for you.
Utilize the help you are given, and don't be afraid. Your mentors are available to help you succeed.