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Mustang Mentors - A student's perspective
Posted On:
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
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The newest addition to the Walker Valley culture, the Mustang Mentors, is best explained from the perspective of Jasmine Dillon, a senior Mustang Mentor.

Mustang Mentors

By Jasmine Dillon

This fall the Walker Valley Leadership class was asked how we would like to improve our school as a whole. Through the process we all responded that we would like to change the freshmen experience. We wanted to make it better. Students’ freshmen years will be forever etched into their memories. There is something about freshmen year that makes it stand out in one’s educational experience. For me, I was the oldest of my three siblings, and neither of my parents had attended high-school in the area. I was left to myself, attempting to figure it out as I went. My experience as a freshman was quite the lasting one. It was one of the most phenomenal school years I’ve personally had, but there could have been a few tweaks here and there that would have given me the opportunity to make the absolute most of my freshmen year. At this early stage of planning, we had a multitude of ideas, and we were all excited to see if our ideas would actually be put into action.

The process of brainstorming resulted in a “big brother, big sister” type of program we named the Mustang Mentors. We would utilize the time that our Mustang Advisory Program, MAP, had already built into the schedule by placing two upperclassmen into each freshmen MAP room.  The pairs would consist of one male and one female, with varied experiences at Walker Valley in Freshmen MAP classes. For example, ideally a student who happens to be male and from the STEM academy would be paired with a female student from either the MBA or Humanities academies. By doing this, our program would be able to reach out to more freshmen students, and not just a select few. The Mentors would be able to provide a student’s viewpoint on topics from study habits to school involvement. We envision a program where the Mentors become a resource and friend for the freshmen students.

After we gave birth to the idea, we got to work putting our dream into action. We presented our idea to administration, made lesson plans, recruited 28 outstanding juniors and seniors, meet with freshmen MAP teachers and the entire staff to create a buzz around our idea. Our leadership class worked endlessly to create this program in hopes of giving back to our school and to provide resources to our freshmen class, things we wish we had received.

Our program is being held to very high standards by administration and teachers who have a lot of faith in our ability to see this through. We have set high expectations for ourselves. Today, we had our first MAP meeting with our freshmen classes. My class went even better than I had hoped it would. The students in the class were eager and made our thirty minutes of get-to-know-you games exciting. I hope all the hard work we put into the Mustang Mentor program pays off for Walker Valley. We want to add to our school identity and sense of pride. Hopefully Mustang Mentors will become a tradition here at Walker Valley for years to come.

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