Last Monday I had the pleasure of hearing one of my former Mentorship Students, Koren Giamarco, speak to a group of mentorship students at Hilliard Darby High School. I have been thinking about her and what she said since Monday…even quoting her several times this week to friends and clients I work for now. WOW! The Mentorship Program is long gone in Westerville City Schools but thrives in Hilliard…all three high schools work together to provide experiences for students.
Let’s go back in time. Koren was one of my early students in Mentorship at Westerville North High School. She was placed with a Trauma Surgeon at Grant Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. I remember two specific times during that semester. One: Koren interviewed for the placement on a Friday afternoon her senior year. She did well in the interview, her resume looked great as she had worked to be ready for that appointment. During the interview, her mentor shared he had earned a C in high school. As we left the hospital that day, I remember Koren saying to me, he thinks I can do this! As we educators often say, I had the thrill of seeing “the light bulb go on”. Two: Koren came back to school after mentoring very upset. She had seen a teen in trauma after a car accident…drinking, no seat belt. Koren accompanied the doctor as he shared bad news to the teen’s parents. It was a fatal accident. Koren shared the story with everyone … No Drinking when Driving and WEAR your seat belt.
More than 10 years has passed since Koren was in my class. She had called Westerville North to share she was ready to give back…found out that the program was gone, and being the persistent and driven person she is, found me. I shared her story with other schools, and it was my pleasure to hear her story this last Monday. Koren is now a Flight Nurse and actually brings patients to her former mentor at Grant. I have to admit that I got a little teary eyed as I listened to every word she said. What a presentation…the students were listening to every word, asking questions…Koren was giving them the reason for education!
And for me…Koren not only gave me the opportunity to be proud of my former student but she also reminded me: 1. Texting and checking email while driving is dangerous. 2. Enjoy each day to the fullest. 3. Volunteering and giving back help one to grow and gain experiences. 4. Persistance and drive really do pay off.
Although I am now a full time REALTOR that enjoys helping families find a property that they can make their home, I still treasure the joy of being a part of helping young people explore careers and connect education with their future. It is kind of interesting…watching a home buyer know that a property is the one is somewhat similar to seeing the light bulb go on when a person identifies career goals. I truly find taking the stress out of change, providing information and resources, and helping people make educated choices is rewarding.