CYC alum a testament to impact of mentorship

Cincinnati Youth Collaborative (CYC) is a testament to the impact mentoring plays in a student’s life. For the past five years, an average 95 percent of its students have graduated high school — a statistic Gov. John Kasich acknowledged last week when discussing statewide education initiatives.
Why did he mention CYC, in particular? Because its students succeed while the districts CYC serves are, on average, graduating 63 percent of their high schoolers.
Upon graduating high school, many CYC students continue their path to success by enrolling in college, enlisting in the armed forces or securing gainful employment. Take Shandreanna Martin, for example.
“My graduation from college began in the sixth grade, when I sat down across the table from my mentor for the first time,” Martin says.
She graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2015 and remains close to this day to her mentor, Lori Meyer, who has since relocated to Wisconsin.
“Prior to first meeting Lori, I felt she wouldn't have much to do with me,” Martin says. “I felt for a short time it was a pity party — as if she only did this to help and that (our relationship) would be over after that school year.”
So when the two continued to meet year after year, the relationship blossomed into more than Martin could have ever expected.
“She really touched a part of my life,” Martin says. “My self-confidence and self-value has skyrocketed because of her. I feel I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and am currently looking forward to returning to school for a Computer Technology Communications degree, be it a Master’s or even another Bachelor’s.” 

Do Good: 

Change lives by becoming a mentor.

• Support the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative by participating in the United FORE Youth Golf Classic May 10. 

• Connect with CYC on Facebook.

Read more articles by Brittany York.

Brittany York is a freelance writer, adjunct English composition instructor and server at Orchids at Palm Court. She loves travel and photography. Keep up with Brittany on Instagram @brittbrittbrittbrittany.
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