Academic All-State Alumni Mentoring Program
|University of Oklahoma junior Macy Muirhead (second from right), a volunteer with the Academic All-State Alumni Mentoring Program in Norman, receives an Outstanding Mentor Award from Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Chairman David L. Boren (left) and President Anil Gollahalli during Oklahoma Mentor Day at the Capitol. They are joined by Muirhead’s mentee, Aliyah. (Photo by Travis Caperton, Oklahoma State Capitol)|
The Academic All-State Alumni Mentoring Program matches former Academic All-State scholars with students at targeted elementary schools. Each mentor spends at least one hour a week volunteering one-to-one with an assigned elementary school student.
As a freshman in fall 2013, Macy began mentoring Aliyah, a kindergartener at McKinley Elementary School in Norman. Aliyah and her sister, having lost their mother in a car accident, are being raised by Patricia and Bruce Valley, their great aunt and uncle. Carol Emerson, principal of McKinley and a lifelong mentoring advocate, thought Aliyah could benefit from a mentor.
Each year Aliyah’s teacher and her great aunt provide input upon current school performance, concerns, and improvement. Now in her third year of mentoring, Macy continues to strengthen her relationship with Aliyah. Their mentoring activities include school work, reading, coloring, playing on the playground, and talking.
“My mentee and I have become pretty close through this program,” Macy said. “We trust each other, and we have a lot of fun together. I feel like we have built enough trust that she could come to me with a problem she didn’t feel comfortable talking to someone else about. She is like my little sister.”
When asked what she would say to prospective All-State Alumni mentors, Macy stated, “Mentoring will change the lives of your mentee and you. You will find so much joy in seeing your mentee grow and in developing a bond with your mentee. Your sense of compassion, patience and creativity will blossom in ways you didn’t know were possible.”
Boren Mentoring Initiative Director Beverly Woodrome, who oversees the All-State Mentor Program, said Macy has a full schedule as a campus leader and yet she makes time weekly to commit to mentoring. Macy, who is from Tecumseh, is now a creative media production major at OU. Among her many activities, Macy studied abroad last summer, enjoyed an internship in Los Angeles, and directs promotions for KCOU and OUTV. She also produces a video blog, GoodBadRad, and has won first-place honors from Oklahoma Broadcast Education Association Awards for her public service announcement on human trafficking.
“As accomplished and involved as she is, Macy makes time to mentor Aliyah, who has taught Macy so much,” Beverly said.