This was the fifth year FAM for Change hosted the Summer Institute, and everyone was excited about welcoming all of the mentees to Bridgewater State University. The week was full of activities, team building workshops and many social events that were all part of the Summer Institute.Those that attended learned about social issues and social change, while connecting with an incredible group of BSU students, the mentors. Below is a mentor, Jason Alan, reflections about how this years Summer Institute went.
My name is Jason Alan and I am a new mentor to FAM this year. After taking Dr. Jonathan Whites class, Mentoring for Social Change, the new mentors all said goodbye for the summer, looking forward to when we would get together again for the Summer Institute. Being a new mentor, I had no idea what to expect I was excited to not only bond with new and old mentors, but to meet the mentees, as well. On July 29th, 2012, it was time to go to the Summer Institute. Going in, all I felt was excitement, and the week did not disappoint. In fact, it blew away my expectations. Day one was devoted to team builders, activities geared towards not only getting to know each other, but also building us as leaders. We also did a reflective activity based upon feedback of each other. This activity was extremely helpful to me, as it helped me learn about myself in terms of which areas I need improvement in and which ones I excel at. We met Alex, Mike, Matt, and Chris, who were our facilitators from the Canadian leadership organization, Me to We. These people were incredible, and really helped us all in terms of gaining confidence as facilitators. Days two and three were practice and planning for the kids who would be arriving Wednesday. When the mentees stepped off their bus, that Wednesday morning, I was greeted with an incredible experience. I accepted my offer to join FAM in December, and, here it was, July, the moment we had been building up to since the beginning: meeting the kids and being able to put all of those months of training to use. For the first few days, we devoted our time to name games and other activities to ensure that everyone quickly became a familiar face. It was a great bonding time for both the mentees and mentors. From hanging out with the mentees, to spending time with each other at night in the lobby of Pope Hall with Kenny and Cedric, the bonding was constant. All of these students are amazing people and have incredible stories to tell. This couldnt have been more apparent than during the yarn activity. This activity encouraged an open and honest dialogue between mentors and mentees, forming bonds between us. We all told some of our most personal stories, and, at the end of that activity, a mutual feeling of closeness consumed the room. It was moving to watch the dynamic in the room change from our being mentors and mentees to our honestly becoming a family. Summer institute, for me, was the biggest time of personal growth that I have ever experienced. Going in, I had no idea what to expect and I left not only having gotten to know the mentors and the staff, but all of the incredible people that make FAM what it is. Its about the kids, and summer institute not only helped me realize this but helped me find my own personal why for becoming a mentor--to help others. The FAM for Change Summer Institute was the most life changing week of my life, and I cannot wait to go again next summer!
Community Service Center ·
Bridgewater State University · Campus Center Rm.109
19 Park Avenue · Bridgewater, MA 02325 · 508.531.2446 · firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Modified: November 13, 2012