Jordan Lee, CfY Mentor
I got involved with CfY because I had a college friend who had been a mentor for five years or so and a co-worker had been a mentor for two. Both recounted very positive experiences and at some point, I ran out of excuses to not give it a try. I volunteered at Garfield when I was at UW and have always been interested in serving youth. This organization provided a structured way to do that with other local professionals like me.
One of my favorite memories so far is with my current mentee. We went to Gameworks and shot a lotttt of baskets. I started off alright, but he crushed me. It was nice to just relax and hang out. Also, I am still in touch with my mentee last year who is now at WSU. It’s been great to meet up when he’s back home from college and check in with him as he goes through a big growth year as a freshman.
My mentee and I are alike in that he is interested in engineering and I am a mechanical engineer at an Architecture/Engineering design firm. I was able to show him around my workplace at some of the things we do in a professional setting. He might be more into the robotic side of engineering, but it was good to share things like our 3D printer and laser cutter to him. Our differences are plenty – he’s got cooler shoes and headphones than me for one. The rap he listens to is different than most of the rap I listen to. I was born to Chinese Immigrants and he’s a Somali immigrant. He is working more hours as a HS senior at two jobs than I did when I was at one job at his age. We’ve got lots of differences that have nuggets of commonality between us.
From my CfY experience, I’ve learned communication is huge in any relationship. I find myself also applying communication tools and success in my relationship with my student to apply to my personal and professional life and vice versa. If I could describe my CfY experience with one word it would be grounded.