Katherine is a Minds Matter alumna and Senior team leader.
Q: How many years have you been with Minds Matter?
Katherine: Ten years, including my time as a mentee and volunteer.
Q: Describe your relationship(s) with the student(s) you work with.
Katherine: I have gotten so close to each mentee on my team. Being able to see them grow into young adults is one of the most rewarding parts of my role. Each of my mentees are completely different from each other, but amazing in their own way. I have had genuine conversations with each one of them about their progress, life, and their goals that have allowed us to built a circle of trust and friendship. I truly believe that our relationship will be life-long.
Q: Any favorite Minds Matter memories?
Katherine: Where do I start! I have so many great memories but nothing beats seeing the look on my mentees faces when they get accepted into college.
Q: How have you benefited personally from your experience at Minds Matter?
Katherine: As a mentee, I appreciated Minds Matter and loved coming to sessions but I didn’t understand the full value until later. We were all accepted into a 4-year college and for some of us, we were the first in our families to do that. We came from families who immigrated from all over the world. And sometimes they did not understand what the college process entailed. Minds Matter stepped in and gave us that extra support and guidance to understand the system and put our best foot forward. We also gained a family- mentors, team leaders, writing advisors, directors, and each other. That is for life. I still keep in touch with my beloved mentors even though they are all over the world. I know I can always reach out to anyone from the program if I ever need guidance.
Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking about volunteering with Minds Matter?
Katherine: Do it! You are spending two hours of your weekend with phenomenal people, who you will learn so much from. I always look forward to spending my Saturdays with my team. Being a part of a bigger team with individuals who are working to guide your mentee creates a supportive environment. Knowing that you are helping them break out of the cycle of poverty and create a better life for themselves and their families is a reward feeling. That is why I have volunteered with Minds Matter for the last three years. I want the future generations to have that same chance and be more than a statistic.
Q: What is a fun fact about yourself?
Katherine: I’ve been to 24 countries and by the end of February it will be 27. I want the number of countries I’ve been to be higher than my age.