June 16, 2016

Scholars and mentors get social this summer

Ahhh, summer is here! School’s out, the sun’s out and the buzz of new college students discussing their plans for the next four years can be heard. But there is something else that is going on to kick off the summer: the chatter of new scholars and mentors developing and building their relationship at the Earl Woods Scholarship Summer Orientation and Social. 

This has to be one of my favorite times of year! This is the chance I get to meet our new scholars and mentors. We have been preparing for this moment since February when we began recruiting top-notch mentors and narrowing down our selection of students to interview for the new cohort of Earl Woods Scholars. Now, we are in June, and it’s time to officially welcome the wonderful new group to the Earl Woods Scholarship Program. 

The past two weekends have been a fantastic whirlwind visiting New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston to meet with our new scholars and mentors, and in August, we will host the same event in Orange County, California. During the East Coast events, I had the chance to sit down and discuss the expectations of the program, answer questions, provide pertinent information regarding college and discuss the importance of having a mentor and interacting with current and past mentors/scholars. Understandably, nerves were present within the first few minutes of the orientation, but the crowd left feeling invigorated by the opportunity the scholarship program presents, and more importantly, the opportunity to network and learn from one another. 

During the beginning stages of the social, it’s always fun for me to take a step back and watch our scholars and mentors mingle and get to know each other. It was evident that everyone in the room had a common goal and passion: helping each other succeed in all aspects of their life. After observing this interaction, I had the chance to bounce from table to table and engage in meaningful conversation with scholars, mentors and TWF staff. I listened to others discuss topics ranging from prom, Copa America soccer games, high school graduation, NBA playoffs, super computers and politics. 

The group of young individuals and mentors are truly remarkable, and they are the reason it is so easy to get out of bed each morning. We are such a unique program, and the scholars we work with are impressive young adults. I know our mentors are in awe of them. They have a wonderful abundance of goals and passions, and through this program, with the help of their mentor and their own intrinsic drive, I have no doubt they will succeed academically, personally and professionally!

Fun fact: for 2016, we chose 20 scholars from Orange County; New York; Boston and the D.C. region. They are the class of 2020 — how fitting for our 20th anniversary!

Champions of the unexpected for 20 years.