The ODSA Spring Conference
First, the men and women of the Oklahoma Division of Student Assistance were lively, engaged, passionate and friendly. Many of the attendees mentor college and high school students and/or supervise those who do. Some programs represented were TRiO Student Support Services, Upward Bound and Talent Search. Second, we learned that mentoring at the college and high school levels also has obstacles such as recruiting, even when mentors are paid. Third, being eighteen or older does not preclude the necessity for being mentored and/or volunteering to mentor!
During the Walter O. Mason TRiO Achiever Luncheon, a successful TRiO or similar program alumnus--in this case, an alumna--was honored. Martha Morgan, PhD, was once a first-generation college student. Now she mentors.
TRiO, a program that targets incoming students and potential (high school) students who are first-generation college students, qualify through financial need, and/or possess a documented disability. Mentoring/tutoring can also apply to military veterans as well as adult students.
Look online at the websites of state colleges and universities. Also many Student Support Service departments of major universities have downloads helpful to all, e.g., time managment or public speaking tips. [Borrow, adapt!] At the moment, this blog writer does not have enough room to express the contributions of the people of ODSA.
Boren Mentoring Advisory Committee members Mary Alice Ahlgren and Beverly Woodrome presented as did Mary Alice's expert associate Lexi Brackett.
"Not Just Surviving - Thriving! Help Youth Plan for the Future" - Brackett, Thrive Coordinator, Camp Fire Green Country
"Ask-Listen-Encourage" - Ahlgren, Program Director, Camp Fire Green Country
"Mentoring Overview" - Woodrome, Director, Boren Mentoring Initiative
Photos: (L) Lexi Brackett, (above) Brackett and Mary Alice Ahlgren
In Claremore, Sam Jones, host of Green Country Perspectives, interviewed Melynda Stone, Executive Director of Volunteers for Youth, and one of her mentors, Gus Ramirez, who through the PAL Program mentors three young men, one at Will Rogers Junior High, one at Claremore High School and one at Oologah-Talala.
Let's have thunderous applause for Gus! Melynda is also a member of the Boren Mentoring Advisory Committee.
GC Perspectives with Sam Jones, will air Friday night, Saturday night, and next Wednesday afternoon.
Thanking everyone who contributed to a mentoring push on Thursday is impossible, but below are a few not previously mentioned.
Amber Mitchell, Director, TRiO Student Support Services, Rose State University
Jessica Waller, Academic Support Counselor, TRiO SSS, Rose State University
Tammy Franks, Guidance Specialist, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Jennifer Sterling, Program/Membership Manager, RSU Public TV
Dale A. McKinney, Production Manager, RSU Public TV