Community Mentor Year Review

Written By: Lindy Pynchon, Graduation Assistant and Coordinator for the Community Mentor Program

As the school year draws to a close, it’s wonderful to reflect on what an incredible year it’s been for the Community Mentor (CM) Program. Both semesters opened with orientation, where new and returning CMs gathered to learn the ins and outs of CBL, communicate with their new community partners, and plan out the busy semester of CBL related events. We made sure to save time for some fun bonding activities as well! In the fall, the CMs used teamwork and communication skills to build rafts and race down the Grasse River. Team bonding continued throughout the year with trips to The Bagelry and cookie decorating before the holidays.

While a lot of the CM’s role may be behind the scenes, they all remain very engaged and active within the St. Lawrence and North Country communities. The most common feedback I hear is that being able to connect with CBL students at their placement is one of the most rewarding parts of their experience as a CM. Not only is this a great chance for them to get involved, but it allows them to talk and connect with their CBL students on a more personal level. It’s hard not to be inspired by these motivated and hard-working students, having such a great group of Community Mentors allowed for a year full of engaged CBL students out in the community.

Besides engaging with CBL students and community, another key component of the Community Mentor Program is professional development workshops. Workshops take place every few weeks throughout each semester. During these sessions, CMs receive a variety of knowledge and resources that allow them to practice professionalism in their work, academics, and personal life to prepare them for a successful future. This year, we covered a range of topics such as: time management, networking, effective communication, mindfulness & compassion, and conflict resolution. These workshops are a crucial part of the CM experience as they help our team continually learn, develop, and grow together.

Now, we say goodbye to three graduating seniors and others who will study abroad in the Fall 2017 semester. We are incredibly excited to welcome new members to the CM team and for another successful year ahead!