National Mentoring Month is celebrated in January! Spearheaded by Mentor, it gives mentoring programs an opportunity to focus on our work. This month, we will be utilizing social media to share information about our volunteers and program! 

Learn more about our mentors!

Throughout the month, we will feature stories from some of our volunteer mentors. They share why they volunteer with the Teen Achievers program and how mentors have made a positive impact on their lives. Take a look at our Instagram page to see our volunteers!

Timicia Grant, Volunteer: I mentor with the Y Teen Achievers program because it is important to me that students have a safe space to learn with adults who aren't just an authority figure over them. It is also important to me that children of minority groups see a representation of what can be achieved by people who look like them. The bridge between the world waiting for students after high school and the decisions they make now can be made easier with guidance from someone who is dedicated to their success. I have had multiple mentors over my career. My most recent and heavily influential mentor wasn't simply giving advice she advocated for me in spaces where I was unfamiliar or unknown. She challenges me and pushes me forward. There's a phenomenal transformation that happens when you have someone willing not only to teach and encourage you but also put you in spaces where you can grow. Mentors are such an important part of a person's journey and mine have added much value to my life. 

Paige Baker, Administrator at Southside High: At Southside High School, we have three core values: rigor, relevance, and relationships. Southside’s partnership with the Y Achievers pre-dates when I began as the Freshman Academy Principal, but I can say that Jessica and I began our work last year and we are intentionally working on relationships this year. In the past, we have tried to have all 9th graders participate in the program, but we quickly saw that it was too difficult to build meaningful relationships and truly mentor our young students with that path. This year, we revamped the program to serve 50 of our young adults. They meet once a month with their mentor and are able to build relationships and have a truly positive impact on their education. I have seen tremendous growth in a large number of these students and would love to one day have enough volunteers to continue to reach all of our youth!

Kiana Binns, Volunteer: I volunteer with Teen Achievers because I have always enjoyed working with the teen group. I work with younger kids so when the opportunity to volunteer with Teen Achievers came, I was excited! I look forward to spending time with my group every month where we get to learn from each other about current and past experiences that we have all faced. There are two teachers from high school that I would consider mentors because I always think about how much I enjoyed learning and getting advice from them. Now that I work with kids, I always think about how those two teachers inspired and encouraged me daily to keep going! I am very thankful for them!

Justin Brown, Volunteer: I love spending time with students and helping them become the best version of themselves and the Achievers program offers that opportunity. I have several who have played significant roles in my life and have helped me become who I am today. From my parents to coaches, teachers, pastors, etc. and I needed each one of them to get to where I am.

Meredith Rigdon, Volunteer: I volunteer with Y Achievers because I want to pay it forward with the impact mentors have had in my life from school years to my career. During Leadership Greenville, Southside High's Principal spoke to our group about why he began working in education and how to make an impact on our community through education. When the call for volunteers was made for Southside students needing mentors, I signed up immediately. In your life, have you had a mentor who has had a positive influence on your life? I have had multiple education, career, and life mentors. At each step, turn, decision, success and "aha" moment in my life I can point to PERSON guiding me to that moment and beyond. There is no greater gift than to give back and pay it forward for all the people who have and continue to invest in my life.