Ingrid shares with us her story of finding new moments to share with students that reframe er works as a 12+ Fellow. We are so grateful she chose to share this journey with us.
One of the most pivotal moments of the year for me had to be a moment I shared with a student in the month of March. At the beginning of the year, one of my projects was to coordinate Student of the Month for KHSA. If I am being honest, some months I struggle to get the winners posted in our Center on time. Requesting nominations from teachers and reviewing nominees for the Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior and Senior classes takes time, and some months it is challenging to get the nominations up by the 1st of the month. As tedious as the task may seem at times, I absolutely love seeing the winners’ faces light up when I tell them the good news. As winners, students are asked to answer some fun questions about themselves so that biographies could be shared on the bulletin board in our Center. This information then gets hung up next to their picture that stays up all month long in our Center. It is an opportunity for peers to celebrate each other and also get to know their peers.
Last month, a student in my cohort of advisees won “Student of the Month” for the senior class. Upon telling her the news, I asked her to return the answers to her questionnaire to me as soon as she was able to. The following day, she gave me her responses. I have made it a practice to skim the student’s answers in front of them just in case I have a question about their handwriting. As I quickly looked at her paper, I noticed my name. The prompt was: “Name two people you admire.”
“Wait, you wrote me down as someone you admire?” I asked surprisingly, to which she responded, “Of course, Miss, because you make me feel like I can do anything, and if you went to college, so can I.”
At that moment, all I could muster was “You absolutely can go to college,” and gave her a hug. If you ask my family or friends, they would say it is hard to get a reaction out of me. I am not one to wear my heart on my sleeve, but that day on my way home, I cried. I was beyond humbled that a student would view me in such a light. More so, I realized that our positions as Fellows come with extraordinary responsibilities
When I made the decision to join 12 PLUS, it was with the intention of supporting students with their post-secondary path and with the hope of forming relationships. I am not sure I really understood the gravity of our work. It is fair to say some days I question if I am doing anything right as a Fellow. I wonder if I am giving my best to our students. Some days I leave the center drained and any energy I have must go to my graduate school work, but regardless of my demands outside the center, I owe it to my students to give them the best of me.
On that day last month, I knew all my frustrations were worth it and all my doubts disappeared.