A Win-Win Relationship
While serving as a mentor may sound like one more thing to add to your to-do list, you’ll find that the time invested as a mentor is very well worth every minute!
Many high school students have not yet figured out what career path they want to pursue, and in many cases, meeting with a mentor who can offer advice and guidance in a particular industry can be a life-changer. When working with a mentor, students gain a clearer perspective of a given career path – the rewards, the pitfalls, and what it takes to get there. In some cases, with this clearer perspective, students may learn what they don’t want to do, and that’s okay too!!
Workforce is and has long been a key focus area at the Frisco Chamber of Commerce. With our new strategic plan, adopted in late 2021, and the new post-pandemic challenges employers face, we’ve made a renewed commitment to seek creative solutions for our business community.
One area the Frisco Chamber of Commerce excels at is connecting the business community with both high school and college students. Internships, mentorships, mock interviews, and business coaching are a few of the key opportunities to get involved in helping students grow in their career fields.
Students in Frisco and the surrounding community most often leave our area for a four-year university, and the challenge is to get them to return to the area. Our schools do an outstanding job of educating our students; selfishly, we would like to keep them here or encourage them to return. By mentoring a student, you may have found your next star employee, whether they choose to go away for college and then come back to work for you, or continue their education locally. And even if they don’t return, you’ve still made a significant impact!
Many of the area high schools offer a mentorship program where students must find their own mentor in a field chosen by the student. The mentor then meets with the student throughout the course of the school year. You can learn more about the following programs:
Opportunities of a Lifetime
We’ve had several staff members over the years who have served as mentors to high school students. We often reminisce about the experience. These students have had the opportunity to learn about the business world, moderate a candidate forum, and even travel to the Texas State Capitol to meet with elected officials.
I’ve personally served as a mentor for both Frisco ISD and Prosper ISD students. I’ll tell you first-hand that I feel like I learned as much from these students as they may have learned from me.
One of my most rewarding years at the Frisco Chamber was serving as a mentor to a Frisco ISD ISM student. Emma sought me out as she initially thought she wanted a career in communication and journalism. The highlight of her mentorship was publishing a blog post, titled Hiring Tomorrow’s Leaders Today, which also was published in the Frisco Enterprise newspaper. This accolade is still on her LinkedIn profile today!
Over the course of the school year, it was great to watch Emma’s transformation as she really began to discover her interests. My heart was so proud as she flawlessly gave her final presentation on research she had completed throughout the year. Emma is now a fourth-year psychology honors student at the University of Texas at Austin, interested in behavioral data science and working toward a career in UX research and academia.
Are You Ready?
In conclusion, I have found serving as a mentor is one of my favorite roles! Working with students helps me gain new perspectives and hear new ideas, helps me become a better leader, and even if it is just in some small way, change someone’s world!
Are you ready to serve as a mentor? Help students find you by filling out the form found here.