At Champions For Learning, to be a mentor is to serve as a trusted advocate and listener to a student.
Chelsea Pittman has learned this firsthand since becoming a mentor last spiring when she was paired with her current mentee, Leidy.
“Leidy moved to the United States from Cuba as she was entering the seventh grade. She was beginning to learn English, the American school system and transitioning into high school, all at once. It was a big transition for her,” shared Chelsea.
Mentors, like Chelsea, in Champions For Learning’s Take Stock in Children program are paired with students at the beginning of the mentee’s freshman year of high school, to ensure students will have guidance and leadership during these crucial next four years.
“She is very smart, so smart. Our first year was us talking through how she adjusted to high school in America. She was balancing her classes both English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), learning about high school football, clubs, and participating in the Champions For Learning program. Her plate was very full,” said Chelsea.
Because Chelsea and Leidy are close in age they have found it easier to connect and relate to one another.
“I feel like an older sister to her [Leidy], where I can coach her though it all. We are both very lucky that we have each other,” said Chelsea.
Not only is Chelsea making a difference in Leidy’s life, but Leidy is impacting Chelsea in ways she never would have imagined.
“I have learned so much about her. Leidy has taught me about her culture and just how different things are for her family still living in Cuba. It makes me feel very grateful to be here and to be afforded the opportunities of living in Naples,” Chelsea explained.
Wanting to make a difference and give back to her community combined with being familiar with Champions For Learning’s mission, Chelsea knew mentoring was the best way to get involved.
“Naples is a highly philanthropic community, with many ways to give the gift of time and treasure. People my age aren’t in the position to donate financially but can make a difference by donating time. Being a mentor is a fun and easy way to give back to your community without digging into your wallet if you can’t afford it,” Chelsea shared.
For those in Collier County that may want to find ways to support others and give back, Chelsea explained, “Look around, you will see the kids in this community that need our help. It doesn’t take much to be an advocate and listener as you help a student reach their goals for post-secondary education and develop life skills along the way.”
Champions For Learning currently needs mentors to serve students who will attend Golden Gate High, Barron Collier High, and Palmetto Ridge High next school year. If you are interested in learning more, join us for a virtual All About Mentoring Session! Dates and times can be found on our website!