Last week, my daughter entered a new school, and I had the pleasure of participating in an orientation for new students and parents. As we settled in, I noticed some students wore bright blue shirts with the words “How Can I Help You?,” printed across the back. These were the school’s “student ambassadors” -- returning students responsible for welcoming and guiding the many new faces.
At the Meeting House, mentorship is a critical part of our mission and I was thrilled to see it front and center at The Winston Preparatory School. Alongside academic excellence, Samantha’s new school equally values social and emotional learning and actively offers opportunities for students to develop leadership and relationship-building skills. As the ambassadors helped new students find their way, they demonstrated the same thoughtful concern for others, helpfulness, and confidence that we encourage through our Meeting House afterschool and teen mentoring program.
I thought about the enormous emotional impact that a friendly face with a big smile can have on a kid on their first day at a new school. I was impressed with the student ambassadors, but I was also so proud of my daughter who is a Meeting House graduate. She easily interacted with the veteran students and took her place in this vibrant community of girls. I could clearly see the impact of the skills Samantha learned in her time as a student at The Meeting House. I also had a moment of deep gratitude for the many female role models who helped Samantha gain self-confidence and poise, and develop a sense of the type of person she wanted to be when she grew up. It’s why mentoring is such a focus of our Girl’s Club programs.
In two weeks, I’ll watch as new Meeting House students go through the same “first day” experience, and our oldest students will be there to give them a warm welcome to our community. Peer mentoring is a core value of ours, and I was overjoyed to see that Samantha’s new school shares our belief in the power of peer-to-peer support. I’m confident that my daughter will continue to have opportunities to develop as a leader and friend through these critical teenage years, and I hope that when Samantha is in upper high school, she can give a new mother and daughter team the same assurance that this year’s student ambassadors gave to us!