The Seedling Foundation holds a Mentor Appreciation Event near the end of the school year. It is an opportunity to sincerely thank and recognize our Mentors, School Support Contacts, Supporting Organizations and our Donors. We also recognize the Seedling College Scholarship Graduates and 8th Grade Winners. Click on the hearts to see the event!
It is a most magical time in our year.
This year, we recognized and thanked our 1st through 8th year Mentors – volunteers who have continuously mentored in our program from one to eight years. Can you imagine an eight year mentoring relationship and what amazing influences it could have in a child’s life?
This year we saw it in a surprising way.
Each year, our 8th grade Seedling Mentees are invited to apply for the Seedling College Scholarships. These are $5,000 grants that are awarded at the end of their 8th grade year and then held in trust for their graduation and acceptance to the 2 or 4 year higher education institution of their choice. There is no minimum GPA, SAT, or any other hurdles to cross.
Our thinking has always been that children who enter high school knowing that college is in their future will be affected in overt and subtle ways.
Overtly, our hope is that their self-image is forever changed and that they will be more confident that they can overcome what life has thrown at them.
Subtly, our hope has been that their choices would be positively affected and they, and their high school counselors, would make class and elective choices as a future college attendee. They would opt for the more challenging course or the college bound group of peers, because that is how they would view themselves and how others would view them.
In this 8th full school year of the Seedling Mentor program, we saw some of the seeds that have been germinating over the years come to bloom. Fifteen students applied for the Seedling College Scholarships. They wrote their essays about mentoring and what it has meant to them, and acquired a formal recommendation from their Mentors.
The essays were a revelation.
Articulate, passionate, touching and sometimes humorous, these children took the selection committee into their lives and relationships in such a personal way that they were stunned. These are words from our six 8th grade winners.
“I would like to thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for being part of my life…part of my inspiration. I love you and just know no one will ever replace you in my life.”
“We have a lifelong relationship! Thank you for letting me have the best mentor ever brought to Seedling.”
“My mentor has changed my view, and now it is not “if” but “when” I go to college. I will be the first person in my family to do this. We need mentors in school to help kids like me.”
“I don’t know if she knows, but it’s the little words of wisdom she has told me that help me and that I will remember for the rest of my life.”
“If more kids had mentors like mine, I think they would stay out of trouble and make better decisions. It is working for me!”
“If it wasn’t for the Seedling program, I believe I would still be struggling, and not understanding why. When I am older I would like to make a difference in a child’s life too, and I want them to know they are not alone.”
We can’t add to that.
Congratulations to our 2013 Graduate, who will go on to pursue her dreams, and to our 2013 Winners and their Mentors, who have a grand four-year journey ahead of them. We can’t wait to see them at the 2017 Mentor Appreciation Event!
~Seedling Foundation Staff