Bridging the Divide at Warren Township High School

With the freshman and senior classes being roughly the same size this year, Warren at Schuler had a unique opportunity to pair up freshman and senior Scholars in our first Scholar Mentor Program. Because Warren is split up into a freshman/sophomore and junior/senior campus, it is difficult to establish the same unity across classes that may be easier for other Schuler schools to achieve, so we were excited for the opportunity to more intentionally bridge this physical divide. Through the program, the two Scholar classes have been able to get to know each other through fun events such as a fun corn maze and attending the musical “Hamilton” together, as well as academically-minded gatherings, such as tutoring groups during Freshman Finals STEP.

Freshman and senior Scholars before going on their Hamilton exposure together! 
We interviewed Scholars Kaylyn Wright ‘17 and Demetrius Palmer ‘20, one of our mentor/mentee pairings, and here is what they had to say about the new program: 

What did you expect being a mentor/mentee would be like?

Kaylyn: Coming into the whole mentoring thing I expected there was going to be an emphasis on academics. So basically I thought I was going to be a tutor for the most part. Also, I did not think that the friendship with my mentee would extend outside of the mentor program events.

Demetrius: Coming into being a mentee, I was very skeptical about the idea and wasn't sure what it was all about or what the requirements were. I wasn't sure if my mentor and I were going to bond or really connect.

What has it been like so far? Have there been any aspects that surprised you? 

K: So far it has been a really cool experience that I am enjoying. I was surprised by the pairing of the mentors and mentees, because most of them are quite accurate. I get along well with D, and haven't seen any other mentors not get along with their mentees.

D: So far the mentor program has surprised me a lot. My mentor and I are really close friends now and we hang out all the time. Also it was great to talk to someone who is finishing up the journey that I know I'm beginning. He knew the school, teachers, and classes that I'm taking, so he was a really great person to go to when I had questions or in need of advice.

What was your favorite mentor program event and why?

K: For me it would be the corn maze because it was quality time with my mentee and other mentees. Finding our way through the maze revealed a glimpse of D's optimism. No matter how many times we went in circles, he still had a good time.

D: My favorite mentor program exposure was the trip we went on to the corn maze. It was really fun to work in our small groups and use team skills to navigate our way out.

What is something you’ve learned from your mentor/mentee? 

K: D taught me, or more so reminded me, to not take things so seriously and find fun in unlikely situations. Senior year is important to get good grades and stay on top of everything, but also to enjoy my last year in high school.

D: My mentor taught me to view situations with multiple perspectives, and that there's always more options than you think. My mentor taught me this when we were in the corn maze, and we were choosing a route to take.

Where would you like to see this program go in the future? 

K: It would be nice to see this program continue and give senior Scholars the chance to see how they are role models to the new freshman. Hopefully it becomes a program in all the Schuler schools.

D: I believe the mentor program is very helpful and should definitely stay within the Schuler Program. I believe the program gives freshmen someone to ask questions to, look up to, and connect with on a meaningful level.


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