Being a BCYMP Mentor sparked my interest after hearing about it in a First Year Seminar Class at SDSU. In high school, I had been involved in a mentoring program that partnered high schoolers with elementary students. What was appealing to me about BCYMP was I would be able to plan the activities and have more of a lead on the mentoring relationship compared to what my experience was with the school program. Plus, I’ve had mentors and know they’re helpful in many ways; I wanted to be able to be that for someone, too, so I decided to apply! After training, I was matched with a mentee whose imagination and joy is contagious.
Now, I am going into my final year at SDSU and will graduate with a Human Biology Major in the Spring. I am currently studying for the MCAT as I plan on applying to Medical School. I hope to be a surgeon one day–maybe something with kids, but still undecided. With Medical School on the horizon (18 credit hours some semesters), clubs and activities, and enjoying time with friends; I am very busy.
Even so, mentoring has never been something that I haven’t been able to find time for. The one hour per week makes me slow down and choose to make an impact in a child’s life while having fun and laughing with a bright and bubbly Mentee. For me, mentoring has been a good break from the stress of school. A favorite activity is to stop at the coffee shop and then head over to the Children’s Museum, where we would play groceries or in the water area. Any time we are able to tap into my Mentee’s active imagination, our time together is so enjoyable!
Mentoring has been rewarding to my personal growth too. I have been able to increase my patience and understanding, and have become more comfortable with talking openly about feelings and worries. Overall, I have become more open. It’s easier for me to talk through issues, concerns with others, and I feel more comfortable listening. I’ve even noticed this as a positive change in my interactions with peers.
I hope others choose to give being a BCYMP Mentor a shot! There are many volunteer activities to choose to give your time to. Some you will even get material things from. By mentoring, you serve the kid. You build a connection, which is not easy at first, but the relationship grows and is worth it in the end! You find yourself being selfless and more caring. Regardless if you spend one year or four years, you will make an impact on a kid… and most likely see personal development as well by becoming a BCYMP Mentor.