Hanover, NH - Kelly is a senior mentor at Dartmouth College. She has been interested in education and working with kids since high school. She went to an info session for DREAM during her freshman year. "It sounded like a really cool program, both fun and a way to make an impact in the Upper Valley." Kelly's mentee, Julie, moved to the US from Egypt with her family when she was very young.
Kelly was able to connect with Julie right from the get-go, despite Julie being a little shy at first. "She was...just a little kid around new people. But she's very energetic and funny. Every DREAM Friday she would come with a new backpack. She's very into her fashion and looking cute, and so probably the first time we talked was about her fun backpack."
Over time Julie came out of her shell and formed a close bond with her mentors. She is co-mentored both by Kelly and by Yliana, another Dartmouth College student. Mentors often take semesters off because of study abroad opportunities or academic schedules, so co-mentoring is a way to ensure a mentee always has someone around. It also helps that Kelly and Yliana were freshmen roommates and remain good friends. "We didn't even realize that we both applied to DREAM...it's really nice to co-mentor with her and share that relationship."
Julie's favorite activity is arts and crafts. She wants to be an arts teacher when she grows up. While virtual mentoring, Kelly and Yliana would often end up being taught a lesson of arts and crafts by Julie. "Most recently, we made this little paper robot person and you had to take two different color papers and cut it in certain ways and draw the face, and she kept getting frustrated with Yliana and I because we weren't as good as she was." The group has done many things together, from baking to hide and seek to reading books and drawing on classroom whiteboards.
"We always do a halloween event, which is fun. Everyone comes decked out in their costumes. Last Halloween she lost her tooth and proceeded to keep painting her pumpkin despite her bleeding mouth."
If Kelly had to choose one word to describe her relationship with Julie it would be "happy."