Name: Makenzie Ocker
From: San Angelo, TX
Passing Down Knowledge
I chose to volunteer with incoming freshmen at my college. I chose this, because I get to be a mentor for them throughout their years of college which means I can help them out in most situations. I pass along previous knowledge and experiences to help them make better decisions and most importantly stay in college. I love to know that my hardships will not die in vain, because I can use those
experiences to help the freshmen. There is 6 hours of training, one hour per week for 6 weeks, a leader camp that is 2 days 1 night, then Ram Round-Up camp with the freshmen that is 3 days 2 nights, and
finally I text the students I am assigned to at least every week to check in on them and to go out and do activities with them.
My responsibilities are that I make sure that they have a fun, safe
time in college, make sure they feel comfortable at Angelo State
University and make sure that their life is going okay and if not
guide them to the appropriate resources. My biggest challenge as a
volunteer is to understand that I cannot force my men tees to do
something, I can guide them though. I want everyone to get involved,
but sometimes my mentee doesn’t I have learned to take a step back
and respect their decision.
I was most satisfied with helping a young girl who had a mental
disorder. She liked to hide and try to blend in, I was able to show
her that embracing her differences feels much better and that being
herself was a good thing. I learned that my mentees look up to me, so
I have behave appropriately at all times to be a good example. I was at
a party once and ran into one of my mentees and she said, “Oh, I
didn’t know you were like this” it made me feel so bad and
guilty, but it made me realize I just have to be more careful.
Looking forward for me means looking into the future rather it be
tomorrow or 15 years from now. Looking forward I hope my activities
will help students stay in college, get a degree, so they can live
their version of a successful life. The change I would like to see is
more freshmen students graduating. Many do not realize that the
percent of freshmen graduating is low and that the odds are against
the new freshmen. This program is fairly new, so in 20 years I hope I
see it flourish and see the passion that the leaders have in shaping
the incoming freshmen.