"I will look fondly on my experiences forever..."

I am incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a mentor for the semester at Shortridge. As I had stated at the beginning of this fall, this ICR course was the only one that fit in my schedule, but I am unbelievably happy that it worked out this way. I am proud to say that I served as a mentor to high school students in my last semester at Butler, and I will look fondly on my experiences forever.

There was one student that I worked with in particular who really stood out to me, and his name was J—. He came to the session with a detailed and organized list of 13 sources for his project, which was heads and shoulders above anything I had seen from the other students. His topic for the project is the violation of ethics regarding child labor and wages during the industrial revolution. After researching for a few minutes, proceeded to have a discussion about the Industrial Revolutions and the implications of the brutal living conditions that children endured during that time. It was really cool to see him thinking so independently, and talking about his topic with excitement, rather than just asking me how he could fulfill his guidelines. I noticed he had a rather heavy Spanish accent, so I asked where his family was from, and he told me that he and his family moved to the United States from Guatemala just two years ago. He then told me that he had only started learning English within the last year and a half.

We then proceeded to talk about family, the differences between living in Guatemala and America, and, finally, the difficulties associated with college. J— shared that he didn’t think college would be a possibility for him due to financial constraints, which made me extremely sad. Having only met him 30 minutes prior, without any knowledge of his family background, I didn’t want to give him any false hope, but did try to give him some encouraging words. This was an instance that I felt was especially meaningful, as it was a very organic conversation, and I was able to relay advice to J— that he seemed to really adhere to.

Overall, my Shortridge experience had a positive impact on my life. Our sessions were a fantastic outlet for me to focus on something else rather than myself. They allowed me to direct my attention towards an environment that was entirely unrelated to my finance classes. I’m thankful that I chose this unique experience, rather than doing the ICR that most business majors do.

Keenan Casey is a senior Finance major.