Applications were turned in and mentors have been picked. The Kick Off Mentor (KOM) program for the 2013-2014 is underway.
The four teacher coordinators and six incoming senior executive board members are working hard to make next year’s the best yet.
“First year was really trying to get the ball rolling and it was semi-successful,” coordinator ShannonLast year I know they really tried hard to pair mentors with freshman that had common interests. This year we took it a step further. We paired them with similar interests and gender.”
Pairing mentors with freshman of their gender helps ease the students and gives them a level of comfort.
“If you’re a freshman boy are you really going to want to talk to a junior or senior girl?”“They might be very guy specific issues and same with females.”
In addition to deciding who the mentors are paired with, they are also trying to continue the program throughout the year.
“My goal for the year is to keep the program as fun as it is at the beginning of the year,” junior executive board member Amanda Mazzoli said. “At the beginning we have training and kick off days which are tons of fun. After that we don’t have any more planned activities and the program tends to fizzle out.”
To prevent that from happening, the executive board has come up with some ideas to spend more time together.
“This year we are adding more outside of school activities to the program,” Mazzoli said. “We are planning a cookout for all the captains and a trip to airtime for all the mentors and mentees.”
One of the main purposes of the KOM is to help the freshman feel included on a social level.
“My favorite part of being in KOM was making the transition from being a mentor to my freshman to actually becoming their friend,” Mazzoli said.
To make better connections, the executive board is trying to decrease the ratio of freshman to their mentor.
“Next year’s program will have a lot more people,” junior executive board member Casey Board said. “There were so many great applications turned in, and there’ll be a lot of great mentors.”
To help prepare the new mentors to the coming year, the executive board set up Training Day. Training Day consists of team building activities which are instructional and help the mentors bond.
“Training day is a chance for all the mentors to get to know more about the program and get to know more about what it means to be a mentor and it means to get your freshman involved,” junior executive board member Kendall Spina said. “You get to learn a lot about what you’re doing and learn about a lot about the other mentors.”