Case Study: Willamette Academy

Internship Site
Willamette Academy, a college access program, serving the Salem-Keizer Community, that focuses on helping traditionally underrepresented students; to inspire and support their dreams of attending colleges and universities. Underrepresented youth are usually defined as low-income students, students of color, first-generation students, english language learners, and/or recent immigrants. A majority of the students which Willamette Academy serves can be considered under more than one of these categories. The Academy’s mission or academic promise to students they serve is as follows: “This academic program is designed to address a number of factors that may discourage certain students from attending college or otherwise impede
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An extension of the Academy’s current support services that encompasses alumni of the Academy and is comprised of two parts. The overarching project is to create and to implement a mentorship program for Willamette Academy Alumni on their college campus. In order to create this program however, I will first be establishing an alumni database. This will track college of attendance, graduation from college, and current location/occupation of previous students. Creating the database is a project that the Executive Director wants to make a priority in my project, He indicated that it will most likely be collaborated on by myself, the executive director, and potentially other Willamette Academy staff. It will be a vital resource for fundraising and providing formalized data on the Academy’s progress. The second part of the project will be creating, organizing and implementing the mentoring program. My hope is to use the structure of the mentoring program employed by the Ford Family Scholarship program. Tasks for assembling the mentorship program will include 1)recruitment of alumni who have completed at least freshman but preferably their sophomore year at the college of attendance, 2) informing graduating seniors of the new program and 3)matching them with a mentor, 4) planning and holding training sessions for mentors and orientations to mentees, 5) providing both mentors and mentees with …show more content…
In that process I have found that what is often the most helpful is just being able to identify with your mentee and provide them with personal experience rather than just formalized information. It is sometimes just about being present and listening to their fears and helping them to find resources that benefit them. Yet, this same help is often lacking for any students who are not associated with a scholarship network. Professionally, one of my career goals is to work either for college access programs such as Willamette Academy, or to work on college campuses creating and fostering more inclusive support systems for first-generation students. The first step towards this goal will be the success of my mentorship project at Willamette Academy. This experience will allow me to analyze ways in which mentorship is helpful and can provide me with initial areas in which college campuses and improve the support of first generation

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