Explore the Impact of Academic Mentorship
“My Mentor…” posts are short pieces written by members of the Trilogy community to highlight their passion and the mentors that had an impact in their lives. This post is written by Amy L. She holds a bachelor's degree in Biology and Hispanic Studies and works with students in subjects including science, mathematics, and Spanish.
Why is education important to you?
Education is the most lucrative way to improve yourself. In fact, I love education so much, I am planning on pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health! My goal is the Registered Dietitian certification and the ability to educate everyone on their agency in improving and maintaining their health. Education provides opportunities and teaches you how to exist in the world. From simply learning to be nice to your classmates in kindergarten, to calculus in high school, and learning about other cultures; education provides the basis and the language to live a more fulfilled life. I’m incredibly grateful to a number of people in my educational history but one middle school teacher stands out as really teaching a valuable life lesson. For a majority of the year, Mr. Mifsud assigned our class readings from A People’s History by Howard Zinn. Zinn’s book tells history from the perspective of the oppressed, giving a lesson in empathy, a lesson so important to a thirteen-year-old. Mr. Mifsud’s creative approach to textbooks made me love history so much more, and I still remember much of U.S. History, from multiple perspectives, because of it.
What do you enjoy most about being an academic mentor?
For me, it’s impossible to love education and not want to encourage others to do the same. However, I remember how stressful school can be and I hope that my mentorship helps students feel more stable and empowered to take charge of their education. I have felt the same anxiety after procrastination, the pressure and perfectionism, and the overwhelming aura of standardized tests. Everyone needs something different as they journey through school, whether it’s encouragement, accountability, or expertise. I try to use what I have learned about being a student and turn that into useful guidance for my mentees. Most often, I’m here to remind my mentees just how important education is. As an adult with a college degree with the determination to go to graduate school, I’m in education for the long haul. I’ve taken many, many standardized tests and I have experience in a lot of subjects. Having made it through all these experiences, I’m here on the other side to be a cheerleader for the younger generations looking ahead and needing support in their academic journey.
Who was your mentor? How did they have an impact on your life?
My grandfather (Deck) was the first person in his family to go to college. I have a copy of his mother’s journals from her youth during the Great Depression. In her journal, she laments the missed opportunity to go to school due to lack of funds. When it came Deck’s turn to go to college, she strongly encouraged him to both go and finish; he received a Bachelor’s and then Master’s degree in engineering and went on to work for NASA during the excitement of the 60’s and 70’s. Deck passed his mother’s encouragement on to me and made sure I was always engaged in my studies, even frequently helping me with homework. You can see his joy in the picture below, taken right after I received my Bachelor’s degree in 2016. Every week of high school I visited my grandparents and throughout college, I called every week so we could talk about class. His patience and dedication is something I hope I exemplify in my mentoring duties with Trilogy.
If you are looking for an academic mentor in Spanish, Biology, Chemistry, or Algebra, ask for Amy!
For more on Trilogy's Mentors, follow our "My Mentor..." series.
Here is our last post from Erika P. - The Impact of Academic Mentorship