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Mentorship program is opening eyes and minds
Students share stories at honors presentation
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West Hall High student Alannah Fanelli, right, shows Jennifer Killingsworth her multimedia presentation regarding her mentorship program at Children’s Medicine in Buford during Tuesday evening’s Honors Mentorship Presentation Night at the Hall County Board of Education.

Some may have decided on a career path while others chose a new route for their future, but each learned something about themselves — which was the ultimate goal.

During the annual presentation night Tuesday, student participants in the Hall County Schools System Honors Mentorship Program got the opportunity to share some of what they’ve learned and their culminating projects.

“This experience really opened my eyes to the (challenges of being in) the medical field — it’s not as easy as I thought,” said Kayla Guinn, who mentored in a medical office.

The program is an academic elective for “highly motivated” Hall County juniors and seniors and pairs the students with a community mentor.

During the semesterlong course, the students spend time with mentors at their workplace. They also spend time conducting independent research.

At the end of the mentorship period, students end up with around 60 hours of real-world work experience.

The students worked in a variety of places, including local schools, attorneys’ offices and governmental agencies. Each student produced a project to represent some of the things they learned. Those projects ran the spectrum from an instructional DVD for special education teachers produced by Bria Cantrell to home loan processing forms created by Bernie Flores.

“I’ve never had this much creative control in my learning before,” said Skyler Passmore, who mentored in a local recording studio.
“I’m really thankful for this experience.”

Although each student worked in a different fields, all say they gained more insight into what it is like to work full-time. While some lessons were job specific, others can be applied to all aspects of life.

“Sometimes it felt like I wasn’t making a difference, but then I realized that even the smallest tasks add up,” said Andrew Pope, who mentored in a campaign office.

“Sometimes the smallest tasks can play the biggest roles.”

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