True Blue Neighbors Youth Mentoring Program, University of Tulsa
Hayley Davidson, a psychology/pre-med junior at the University of Tulsa, has served as a mentor to Kendall Whittier Elementary School students Jesus, Evelyn and Ximena for three years.
Calling her “a wonderful asset” to the program, Olivia Landrum, program director, says Davidson “has always been driven to develop her skills as a mentor.”
“She came to us as a college student, eagerly taking on extra responsibilities, such as mentoring the entire class,” she says. “She continued to demonstrate this drive through her tenure at our program.”
Landrum states that, through Hayley’s gift of her time, knowledge and guidance, “our students have a deeper understanding of their homework assignments.” She adds that this mentor provides a model for the students of respect, patience and understanding.
Davidson also was lauded for “bringing a smile to all of the kids’ faces that she works with” and for her willingness to work with and assist the school’s lead teachers.
“Hayley loves reading with the students,” Landrum notes, adding that she and Jesus have read all the Pete the Cat books in the library. “She enjoys watching their imagination expand and seeing how their reading skills have grown.”
Noting that Davidson and each of her mentees have very different life experiences and are all in different phases in their lives, Landrum believes their shared involvement has allowed each to teach and offer new insights to the others in ways that go above many other mentor/mentee relationships.
Davidson says she has gained much from her mentoring experiences. “I have improved my skills of patience and responsibility. More than that, though, I have become more childlike, meaning I can see a lot more wonder in the world around me.”
About the Program: The University of Tulsa’s True Blue Neighbors Youth Mentoring Program aspires to help build a better community through quality after-school programming at Kendall-Whittier Elementary School. As a 21st Century Community Learning Center, the program provides equitable educational resources for youth. Program objectives include enhancing literary achievement, access to healthy nutrition and community gardening, and developing positive social skills to build better citizens.