Former ELL Student: How Mentoring changed my life
I came to Florida from Haiti at the age of 14, where understanding the language was just half of my battle. I struggled throughout middle school, but managed to maintain good academic standing and transition to high school. My transition to college was not easy since my parents were unfamiliar with the educational system. It was hard to figure out “what’s next?” for my future.
Seeking the minimal available resources, I discovered a mentor in high school, Mrs. Kessler. She understood my personal struggles and became a great friend. She was always available and willing to offer advice and guidance. Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” and she could not be more accurate. With Mrs. Kessler’s assistance, I felt inspired and truly capable of greatness despite the challenges I faced. As a result, I received numerous scholarships, which granted me admission at an accredited university. To this day I have maintained a strong relationship with Mrs. Kessler. She proved that one person can make a tremendous difference.
I am now a Human Resources Professional and the Founder of Scholar Career Coaching. I graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Management and am now a Master’s Degree candidate in Human Resources at FIU, graduating in May 2015. As a first-generation college graduate, I felt very fortunate to have mentors dedicated to helping me succeed throughout my undergraduate/graduate schooling and career in Human Resources.
As an established HR professional, I devote my free time to guiding high-school students through their career questions and goals, mainly ELL students. I can honestly say that I am working on fulfilling my longstanding dream of mentoring disadvantaged students just like I was. After my undergraduate studies, I had a strong desire and willingness to give back to the community in order to help students answer the “Now what?” question. I founded SCC, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that provides virtual & after school mentoring services to high school students in South Florida. The hybrid mentoring platform assists students by partnering them with college students, graduate students, successful professionals and retirees in various industries. While these passionate volunteers have established careers, many of them faced the same questions, doubts and struggles that their young mentees are currently experiencing. Having traveled similar paths, these mentors are expertly positioned to provide career guidance & encouragement to subsequent generations.
The school administrators have too many students and are not able to provide the full support that these students need. My advice to high school students is for them to always seek for extra help. Organizations like Scholar Career Coaching work with established professionals, as well as college and graduate students, who help our young mentees make the successful transition from high school to college and from college to career. Our mentors are dedicated and committed to assisting students with enrolling in college, selecting a major, career advice, and developing habits and skills that will be critical in their careers.
Lynne Wideline Gassant
Founder & Executive Director
Scholar Career Coaching