Mentor Spotlight: Kaitlyn Venner and Brittany Haberman

Mentoring makes a difference not only in the lives of mentees, but in the mentors’ lives as well. People who know this well are two great BCYMP mentors, Kaitlyn Venner and Brittany Haberman. Both came to mentor with BCYMP through SDSU. Brittany became involved as a mentor after putting on a BCYMP bowling event as part of a leadership class. Brittany has been a mentor since August 2015 and has been with her current mentee since August of 2016. Kaitlyn heard about BCYMP from both the American Medical Students Association (AMSA) and the Human Services Club. Kaitlyn has been mentoring for a year. Read on to learn more about their mentoring experiences.

Why did you want to become a mentor?
Brittany – “I wanted to be a mentor to become more involved in the Brookings Community. I wanted to be a person who someone could look up to and trust.”

What are things that you and your mentee do together?

Kaitlyn -“We have gone to get ice cream, went downtown and window-shopped, baked, painted our nails, and done some crafts. BCYMP has created some events that we have participated in, such as making and launching rockets. We have also attended an SDSU International Night together.”

Brittany – “My mentee loves ice cream, so sometimes we go to the Dairy Bar on SDSU campus, or Cherry berry, or Dairy Queen. We also go visit the animals at the Humane Society often and read books at the Brookings Library. Sometimes we go bowling, to the movies, or play at the Children’s Museum. When the weather is nice, we try to find things to do outside, often playing at various playgrounds.

What is the most rewarding part about being a mentor?

Brittany -“The most rewarding part about being a mentor I think is seeing my mentee continually become more comfortable around me and knowing that she loves the time we spend together. Her family has mentioned to me how often she talks about me. My mentee is a good reader and has a great memory; she remembers stuff I’ve said once, 2 months ago!”

Kaitlyn – “The most rewarding part about being a mentor is just seeing how happy I can make my mentee. It is a very rewarding feeling to simply hang out with your mentee- talking, laughing, and sharing advice or experiences- and then get a text from their parent thanking you for putting a smile on their face and making them so happy.”

What is the most surprising part about being a mentor?
Kaitlyn – “The most surprising part about being a mentor was just how much it changed me for the better. It has given me more confidence as well as more happiness. It is fun to plan events for your mentee or to come up with ideas that they might like as you get to know them. It is also surprising to see how much of an affect you might have on them in such a short amount of time.”

What would you say to those thinking about becoming a mentor?
Brittany – “I believe everyone should strive to be productive members of society and to give back to your communities. One way to do this is be a mentor for somebody. Being a mentor has not always been easy, but it has been worth it.”

Kaitlyn – “I would encourage anyone who is thinking about becoming a mentor to go for it! I think that it is one of the most worthwhile things that I have done since starting college. It is immensely rewarding to see how you have helped your mentee to grow and is a super fun way to volunteer your time. Plus, it’s really not hard to set aside one hour a week to be able to hang out and have fun with a really amazing and unique kid!”

Interested in becoming a mentor like Kaitlyn and Brittany? You can apply right here on our website! Applications can be found under the “Mentoring” tab.

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