|Sara and Melissa|
Sara and Melissa do their best to hang out twice per month. “I love cooking - and this is a passion I've shared with Melissa, who has come to love it, too (she actually noted she might want to be a chef in a high school application essay) - so we do that together. She's especially into baking (her favorite was making "stained glass cookies" last holiday season - she's still talking about it). That said, we try to mix it up - once in a while, a movie; we've gone horseback riding; we've gone to House of Air, to the zoo - whatever sounds fun. I try to introduce Melissa to things she wouldn't otherwise get to do.”
One accomplishment that Sara is particularly proud of is her work with Melissa to complete her high school applications. “Melissa is Chinese - her parents were born there and speak (only) Cantonese at home - so while she's obviously fluent in English, she struggles with grammar, both written and spoken. She recognizes this weakness and is actively and continuously working to improve - when we're together, I gently point out errors and we talk grammar rules so she can keep improving. Melissa just finished up and submitted her high school applications, which required writing an extensive set of essays. We collaborated on them over dinner a couple times, and then I worked with her through the editing process. It was awesome to see her work so hard and do such a wonderful job on something that I know is a challenge for her - and to know that I played a (very small) part in her accomplishment.”
In addition to the amazing work Sara does as a mentor, Sara has also been instrumental in supporting SMART in other ways. She sits on the Volunteer Advisory Board CAP Committee, and in preparation for CAP’s upcoming career panel, Sara recruited 11 panelists in various professions to talk to our high school Scholars about career opportunities. Sara also participated in SMART’s recent Fundraising Challenge through Crowdrise raising $1,000 to support SMART programming. Thank you so much, Sara, for all you do for SMART and the students we serve!