La Salle students become mentors for the Writers Matter Program in two ways: as volunteers through the University Ministry and Service at La Salle and as a service learning experience in the Introductory Leadership and Global Understanding course. Many of the students have never before been inside an urban school; some of them are graduates of schools much like these. For each, it is a unique learning experience. Being role models for younger students is exciting; even more exciting is the opportunity to nurture the talents and passions of these students. Building relationships with students whose lives may be significantly different from their own, La Salle mentors come to understand the more significant things they have in common.
Here are just a few comments from our mentors:
- “It made me feel special because I realized just showing up and talking to them gives them comfort, trust and a sense of hope– that even though life is tough, you just keep going, and you can make it through.”
- “Walking into the classroom today feels like I’ve been doing it forever. I’ve gotten so comfortable being a part of this class once a week, and the students were definitely excited.”
- “The students’ faces light up every time we walk in the classroom.”
- “I notice that we often do more listening than teaching. I am seeing why Writers Matter is about ‘mentoring’ not just ‘writing tutoring’.”
Also, make sure you view the many digital stories told by the mentors and the middle school students in the Testimonials.