Last year, my two fabulous co-mentors and I began mentoring with Strong Women, Strong Girls at Fifield Elementary in Dorchester. Katherine Sammon and Amanda Britton were also new to the program and I greatly enjoyed having these two as my co-pilots in our adventure to find our way, both metaphorically and literally at times, as mentors to our wonderful group of girls.
Amanda was our fearless leader, as the oldest member of our trio with the most experience working with kids. As a psychology student, she had entered Northeastern with the goal of becoming a teacher. However, her plans changed as she became more jaded by her experiences with the education system.
Amanda Belden, an experienced teacher, performed one of our site visits in the spring to give us feedback on our performance as mentors and highlight areas for improvement. After our mentoring session was over, we met with our observer to review the day. One of her first comments was directed towards Amanda, explicitly telling her that her interactions with the girls were spectacular and that she was meant to become a teacher. Amanda was caught off-guard, having discounted this career option over her college years.
After the site visit, Amanda reevaluated her post-grad plans and applied to serve with Teach for America in 2011-2012. After a rigorous interview process, Amanda was accepted and plans to teach in Baltimore after she graduates this spring! In a time when jobs are scarce and prospects can be grim, Amanda’s courage in pursuing her passion for working with youth inspires me. I celebrate Amanda as a phenomenal mentor and advocate for youth, and I have no doubt that she will be a superb teacher and have a lasting impact on the lives of her students.