My name is Elizabeth Bobrick and Im a college teacher, a writer, a parent of college students, and a volunteer in my community. One of the things I like best about teaching is the chance to encourage students who are struggling with the demands of schoolwork, day-to-day life, and family issues. When I found out about StudentMentor.org, I was intrigued by the possibility of mentoring outside my classes, long distance. What I didnt know is that students of all ages and situations were looking for mentors. As it turned out, my two mentees are both women who have had successful careers, but who, due to changing interests or changing circumstances, felt they needed advice about what steps to take next. I jumped right in.
My first mentee, Diane, wanted to take her career in a new direction, and I was able to give her some practical advice. Becoming a writer and a teacher of writing was a career redirection I hadnt expected to make in my 40s, but I did it. So I thought I could help her. In the course of our conversations, it emerged that she felt passionate about a different path in higher education than the one she originally thought she wanted to pursue. I had a great time brainstorming with her and coming up with ideas for networking. I also found out that she is a highly skillful writer and a deep soul. She may not know that she inspired me to rethink what had originally made me passionate about education, and what else I might do with that passion. I realized that I might want to use my skills from 30 years of teaching and writing in more ways that I had thought.
My second mentee, Dayna, was looking for someone to help her keep organized while she looked for a new job after having been laid off, finishing a second degree program, taking care of her children as a single mom, and facing some serious financial difficulties. I felt that I should ask her advice for keeping her cool, focusing on her goals, and being there for her children! I was able to offer some suggestions for organizing a day that had so many different components, because I work part-time at several different jobs. In my experience, a single parent often needs another adult to bounce ideas off. So Im a ready ear, and a cheerleader. She is so dynamic and realistic, even about the days that are harder to get through than others. I admire her, and, as with Diane, Im honored to work with her.