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What It Means to Have a Mentor

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To commemorate Mentor’s Day at Brooklyn’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), Citizen IBM asked a P-TECH student to share his thoughts about his relationship with his mentor.

My name is Kiambu Gall, and I am a P-TECH student with a mentor. What is a mentor, you ask? Well, a mentor is someone you look up to, someone that trains or advises you; it can be your teacher or even a tutor. My fellow P-TECH students and I are given a mentor to help us out with school and teach us certain things about the business world. My first thought when I heard this was that it would be boring and a waste of time. But later on I realized what an opportunity this was for me and my fellow students.

The day I was going to meet my mentor, I was kind of nervous because I didn’t know what type of personality he would have. After I met him, I wasn’t nervous anymore because he was a cool person. We talked about his job and what he does exactly, and then we talked about school and my goals for the future. Later on that same day, I developed a comfortable relationship with my mentor. I didn’t feel as though I had to have a blank expression on my face every time I talked to him, like I do with most adults. My mentor told me something about him that made it easier for me to get through school. He said that when he was in school he didn’t really get high grades in math. When he told me that, it released some of the pressure that I felt. It didn’t make me think I didn’t have to get high grades, but it made me know not to stress over getting low ones.

Even after our mentors leave we still get to talk to them on a website called MentorPlace. MentorPlace enables students to talk to their mentors through the internet. This program helped me get to know my mentor even more. He told me things that were inspirational, and things that helped me do my school work even better. I also gave him some advice on how to do things, and he listened to me. If I needed help or didn’t understand something, I would just ask my mentor. Sometimes I go on MentorPlace just to ask my mentor how his weekend was, or find out where he’s traveling.

Having a mentor has helped me understand being a high school student, and is teaching me about business life.

Kiambu Gall is a ninth grade student at the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn, New York.

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