Sue Andrews had the look of a proud parent after listening to students in the Mentorship Program at Olentangy Academy talk about their experiences in professional settings this fall.
“It’s rewarding to sit back and hear these presentations because I do see tremendous growth, from the time I get them in August to this mid-point and then that will continue on throughout the entire year,” said Andrews, coordinator of the program. “They now understand the importance of being responsible, being proactive, setting strong goals, and asking questions. … But to now sit back and see their growth is very, very rewarding.”
According to the Olentangy Academy website, the Mentorship Program “allows seniors from all three of Olentangy’s high schools to explore career options by mentoring with professionals in the community during the school day. Students are able to participate in 3 placements (40 to 50 hours) in career areas of their choice throughout the school year.”
Samantha Gossett, a senior at Olentangy Liberty High School, was an intern at Fourish Integrated Therapy LLC on Northwoods Boulevard in Columbus.
“I mentored … with an occupational therapist,” said Gossett, daughter of Leeanne and Mike Gossett. “I learned a lot about handwriting, that was one of the main things (her mentor) worked on with people. She also worked on balance. I got to work with a lot of individuals who had autism, non-verbal autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy — so it was really interesting.”
Gossett said she’s “leaning toward nursing” as a career choice, but is trying to get an overview of what the entire medical profession has to offer. She‘s been accepted at Xavier University, Capital University, Ohio University, and University of Findlay.
Sam Uehlein, also a senior at Liberty, chose to do his internship at OrthoNeuro under the direction of Dr. Gary Millard. OrthoNeuro offers neuro-musculoskeletal care at six central Ohio locations.
“I’m just looking at medicine (in general) right now. I’m just trying to get the different aspects,” said Uehlein, son of Pat and Teri Uehlein. “I’m looking at what it looks like to work with kids and surgery. That’s why I went with Dr. Millard.”
Like Gossett, Uehlein has received acceptance letters from multiple universities.
“I’ve been accepted to Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, University of Pittsburgh, and I’m waiting to hear back from Miami University,” he said.
Both Gossett and Uehlein said they learned some valuable life lessons beyond the skills of the professionals they worked with for the past few months.
“I learned to be proactive in this course, because you have extra assignments and essays that we write along with doing placement,” Gossett said. “So, just getting all that in ahead of time. And then we talked about the ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ and the main thing I learned was to seek first to understand and then be understood. It’s a pretty essential thing in the medical field. We would go in and start every session just talking to the client, asking them how they were feeling, their mood, and their progress so we could best see how to help them.”
Uehlein said the real-world experience he gained — especially learning time management — was valuable.
“I definitely learned how to get through rush-hour traffic, which was something I had to get around,” he said. “Learning how to talk to adults and getting in contact with them was definitely important. Communication skills are definitely important in the medical field. And professionalism — how to dress and talk professionally so people take you seriously.”
Liberty senior Sophia Englehart chose to do her internship at The Delaware Gazette. During her presentation on Monday, she told her classmates that her sister, Maria, who was in the Mentorship Program last year, inspired her to get involved in the program.
“With mentorship, I basically needed to figure out what I was going to do in college,” said Englehart, daughter of Scott and Andrea Englehart. “I figured out pretty early on that I had a skill for writing. My goal was to find out if journalism was the right fit for me and, if so, to improve my journalistic skills and, of course, to have fun.”
So did Englehart, a writer and editor for Liberty’s school newspaper The Cannon for the past three years, achieve her goal of determining if journalism is the right career choice during her time at The Gazette?
“I feel like that’s a yes, for sure,” she said.
Englehart is one step closer to realizing her dream. She was recently accepted into the Ohio University Scripps College of Communication.
Contact Andrew Carter at 740-413-0900. Follow him on Twitter @DelOhioEditor.