A mentoring relationship is a powerful bond that can positively influence the mentor as much as the mentee. Just ask Celia Langford – she’s been on both sides.
Celia was involved with College Mentors for Kids at the University of Southern Indiana chapter during the 2002-2003 school year when she was in the third grade. She was only in the program for one year, but she clearly remembers her mentor and the strong relationship they shared.
“What I remember most about my mentor is that she genuinely cared for me and was interested in me. I am the oldest child and I have a younger brother, so she definitely took an older sister role for me. She was someone I looked up to and had fun with.”
Twelve years later, Celia is a senior at the University of Southern Indiana studying Social Work. She hopes to work with inner-city youth, either as a youth director at a church or with an organization that has youth development programs. “Whenever I have the opportunity to work with kids I always take it! I choose to get involved with College Mentors because of my love for kids, especially inner city kids,” says Celia.
She reflected, “Either career path I go, I have a strong interest in working with inner city, troubled youth. I feel like I have a connection with those kids because I was raised in the inner city and went to school in an inner city school system. Having those experiences has made me realize every child should have the opportunity and assistance present to help them be successful and reach their goals, and I want to advocate for them.”
Celia’s little buddy, Tayvi, is going to be a third grader this year at Glenwood Leadership Academy, and Celia describes him as “silly” and says that he loves sports, telling jokes, and making people laugh.
“My favorite part about being a mentor is seeing my little buddy’s face as soon as he gets off the bus and sees me. I love how excited he is to share what has been going on throughout his week and to tell me stories. I really just love hanging out and having fun with him. We are really compatible and get along well!”
Celia explains, “His dreams right now are to become a professional basketball player, but throughout the semester he has become more interested in college. I feel like the impact I’m making on him is being a positive and supportive person for him, and most importantly, being his friend. I always make sure our time together is all about him and that he has the most fun possible!”