Mentors can share a story about college or trade school

Mentors can assist mentees in exploring college and trade school.

It is never too early for youth to prepare for life after high school. A high school diploma should be the goal for all youth in elementary, middle and high school. After high school, youth have options that include entering the workforce, attending college or enrolling in a trade school. Depending on the career interests of a student, a degree from a college or trade school may be needed to meet their career goal. If you’re a mentor or a prospective mentor, have you thought about what you can offer to help youth interested in attending college or a trade school?

How can you as a mentor help? Whether you attended college or trade school or not, you can start by helping your mentee do the following or find others to assist with these tasks:

  • Research different college or trade schools related to their interests.
  • Fill out college/trade school applications.
  • Fill out financial aid and scholarship applications.
  • Coordinate visits to colleges/trade schools.

If you are a mentor who has attended a college or trade school, Michigan State University Extension suggests some additional things you can share from your college or trade school experience. If you didn’t attend college or trade school, you can find someone who attended college or trade school to talk to you and your mentee about the following.

  • The person or people who influenced you to go to college/trade school.
  • The reason you chose the college/trade school you attended.
  • Your major or specialization.
  • The type of clubs and activities you participated in.
  • Your favorite memory during your time in college/trade school.
  • How you paid for college/trade school.
  • The type of jobs you had if you worked while you were in college/trade school.
  • Whether you worked first and then enrolled in college/trade school as a full-time student.
  • What you liked the most about attending college/trade school.
  • What you liked the least about attending college/trade school.
  • What a typical day was like during college/trade school.
  • The amount of hours you spent studying.
  • Your first job after you graduated from college/trade school.
  • How well you think the college/trade school prepared you for your career.
  • What you did for fun at college/trade school.

Sharing information from your past experience or arranging for someone to share their experience as a current or past student in college/trade school can be beneficial for a mentee who is deciding on their educational or career goals after high school. It can be rewarding to see a mentee further their education and even more rewarding to know you assisted with taking that step.

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