In honor of National Mentor Month we are sharing an interview with JJ Siegner, a Richmond mentor at Henderson Achievement Center.
What made you decide to mentor?
JJ: I wanted to help out in my local community.
When thinking of scholars that you mentor, who sticks out the most and why? What is some of the greatest change that you’ve seen in them?
JJ: How truly bright they are. Seeing them open up over the course of the year has been awesome.
How has your relationship with your scholars has affected your life?
JJ: I care about them and in turn it makes me care more about the state of the schools in my community as well as the state of my community as a whole.
What is something that your scholars have taught you?
JJ: To go with the flow.
Did you experience the influence of a mentor on your life? How instrumental were they for you?
JJ: I was in Boy Scouts growing up and through that I had plenty of great mentors. They were great in helping me identify what I wanted to do with my life and the type of adult I wanted to be.
What challenges have you endured as a mentor?
JJ: Getting 4 kids to focus after a day of school is challenging!
What do our social justice themes mean to you (freedom, justice, solidarity & voice)? How do you see them resonate at your center, in the work you do with you scholars, and in your personal life? Why is that important?
JJ: They are very important. I am a lawyer and these themes are what guide me in my profession. I think it’s very important for kids to be aware of these issues as soon as possible.
As a mentor, what do you want people reading this article to know about your experience at Higher Achievement, or simply to take away from this interview as a whole?
JJ: It is an awesome experience. Go out and take part in this awesome organization, your community needs you.
If there were one thing that you could say directly to a potential scholar, parent or mentor, to influence them to get involved in Higher Achievement, what would it be?
JJ: Go out and get involved, you won’t regret it.
Interested in learning how to become a mentor? You won’t regret it! https://higherachievement.org/volunteer/