Student Mentors Make a DifferenceJennifer Witherbee
Last week WAEF mentors gathered to launch the 2021-22 student mentor experience. 16 mentors are volunteering this year. Teams of two mentors lead a mentee group consisting of students ranging from their freshman to senior years of college.
Mentors host virtual meetings with students monthly focusing on a variety of professional development topics including networking, budgeting, resume development and others. Topics are guides for mentors. The actual content is created by each mentor team based on the needs and interests of their mentees. This year (fingers crossed) the mentor teams will meet twice in person in addition to their monthly virtual meetings, once over the holiday break and then again in June.
The experience is important to students. One of last year’s students shared this about what it meant to her, “I am a first generation student and all throughout my academic career I’ve had to navigate the process on my own. Knowing that I had not only one person but many that I could ask questions or look for guidance on basically anything was the best feeling, especially in the middle of a pandemic.,” shared Joselin Marin Badillo.
This is the second year to offer this opportunity to students. Last year’s “test” year offered multiple learning experiences. This year we were able to increase the number of students involved, thanks to growth in the number of mentors. Most mentor teams this year include one of our 2020-21 mentors paired with one new mentor. The goal is to replicate that again next year allowing more students to enroll. 44 WAEF students are enrolled in mentoring this year. This includes 37 first-generation college students.
Our thanks to all of the volunteers that make a difference to students!
2021-22 Mentor Teams
1-Jaime Cortes-PayneWest Insurance
1-Nate Fulton-PayneWest Insurance
2-Kassidy Metcalfe-Stemilt Growers
2-Katie Harmon-Stemilt Growers
3-Danelle Huber-CMI Orchards
3-Joel Hewitt-CMI Orchards
4-Amanda Adams-Legacy Fruit
5-Jorge Villasenor-Corteva Agriscience
5-Lupe Villasenor-Northwest Farm Credit Services
6-Robin Hansen-Columbia Fruit Packers
7-Austin Backes-Fruit Packers Supply
7-Jose Gonzalez-Washington Trust Bank
8-Dany Cavadini-Northwest Farm Credit Services
8-Tom Howard -Northwest Farm Credit Services