Where are you from?
I’m from Cleveland!
How did you learn about Minds Matter Cleveland?
After law school, I moved back to Cleveland and ran into a high school friend at a coffee shop. He told me about Minds Matter Cleveland and invited me to attend a volunteer recruitment event. I was really impressed with what seemed like a great group of people. I went in for a Saturday session and got started from there.
How long have you been a volunteer?
This is my second year volunteering with the organization. I started as a mentor, and now I also teach juniors the ACT Science deep dive portion.
What do you like most about Minds Matter Cleveland?
I like many things about Minds Matter. The students amaze me every single weekend.They are so open to learning from us and each others. While they might be struggling with many different things in life, they are still committed to a 6-day school week. I love them!
I’m also amazed by the commitment level from our executive team and the fact that volunteers run and lead this program. This is usually done by paid employees at other organizations, but this group is just so dedicated and can get so many amazing things accomplished. It’s really great!
Additionally, I like being able to do other things outside of my day job responsibilities, such as teaching science. I enjoy teaching, and prior to a career in law, I was really into math and science as well. It’s a fit.
Who is your mentee?
My mentee is Ernna, she goes to Cleveland School of Science and Medicine, John Hay Campus.
What is/are the most rewarding part(s) of your mentoring experience?
It has to be watching Ernna grow into a young woman. She is really thoughtful and knows when she needs to change direction and does what’s best for her career decision. I love seeing her thought process upon realizing all the opportunities presented to her, how reflective she is and how she has reinvented herself throughout this journey.
What surprised you the most about your mentee?
When we first met, Ernna saw herself as an academic-driven person. She wanted to go to University of Chicago for that academic side. Now, other parts of her identities are becoming just as important to her. She is more open to explore different things about what it means to become an adult besides just academic stuff. It’s kind of cool to see that.
How has Minds Matter Cleveland impacted your life?
Minds Matter has built a consistency to my life balance. I now really look forward to every Saturday. I feel that I can really make a difference for Ernna just for showing up every week. The organization helps me learn more about Cleveland too. I get to know other volunteers and meet people from very different fields/industries yet we all work together towards a common goal.
What does the future look like for your mentorship with the students and your involvement with Minds Matter Cleveland after graduation?
Ernna had better stay in touch with me *laugh*. Or at least I hope she will! I’m excited to attend her graduation.