Leigh Ann Smith has been mentoring with Higher Achievement in Alexandria since spring of 2010. She takes the time each week to prepare a lesson for all of her scholars that will both teach them concrete skills and keep them engaged at the same time. On top of lesson planning, she comes to Center every week to volunteer two and half hours of her time to participate in program-wide activities and lead her group lesson.
She is truly a model mentor: She’s consistently positive, caring, respectful and incredibly creative. For example, to teach scholars about persuasive language, she had them create their own inventions and then design ads to market them using said language. She is also a resource for other mentors. She is always first to jump in and offer advice to new mentors, share best practices and lead mini trainings to the larger Higher Achievement community.
One of the student’s writes the following about Smith: “Ms. Leigh Ann acts like our friend and she cares about all of us. She makes sure we understand before continuing with the lesson. I like going over my day with her, because it gives me a chance to talk about my problems and what’s good.”
Higher Achievement is part of the Alexandria Mentoring Partnership. The Alexandria Mentoring Partnership (AMP) was created in 2006 to ensure that quality mentors and mentor programs are available for Alexandria's youth and young adults in need. There are 11 professionally managed programs in the partnership that need adult mentors. To learn more about AMP, visit: http://www.alexandriava.gov/Mentoring