August 2022 TeamMates of the Month: In It for the Long Haul
This month, high school junior Shaye will begin attending the Career Academy, a partnership between Lincoln Public Schools and Southeast Community College, where she can determine if she wants to follow through with her dream of becoming a veterinarian. The agriculture/bioscience pathway will enable her to get a jumpstart on the journey and prepare for veterinary school if she chooses.
“I love being around animals,” said Shaye. “I just feel like I have this connection with them.”
Animals aren’t the only connection Shaye has discovered throughout her academic career. Nearly four years ago, she was introduced to Anne, her new TeamMates mentor.
“Right when I saw her I felt like I already had this connection, like ‘I feel like this is gonna be a good TeamMate’” said Shaye, “She looked like a bright, energetic person, and that’s how I am.”
Shaye had been paired previously with a TeamMate who unfortunately moved away abruptly. Anne had a prior mentee whose attendance made building a relationship challenging.
“I remember Ms. Yost at Dawes telling me Shaye’s former TeamMate just kinda left,” Anne recalled, “so I wanted to make sure right away she knew that I wasn’t going anywhere and that I was in it for the long haul.”
Anne shares a love of animals with Shaye, and Shaye says she loves hearing updates on Anne’s two rescued Yorkie mixes. They also both come from families with four siblings. “We’re both from pretty big families so we can commiserate in how you can get kind of lost in that sometimes,” said Anne.
They agree they spend the majority of their visit time just having fun, talking about life updates and doing arts and crafts. “I’d say we’re probably 85 percent fun talk and 15 percent serious talk. I think we both know that we can talk seriously any time we want though,” said Anne.
Shaye said talking with Anne has definitely helped her realize her personal strengths and appreciates the opportunity to have a creative outlet, especially during semesters where she does not have an art class. “Shaye is very crafty. I am not,” laughs Anne. “She has taught me a lot. One of the best things about Shaye is that she’s not afraid to experiment.”
“Over the years Anne has really brought out my creativity,” Shaye said, “and I enjoy helping her bring out her creativeness as well. I’ve always loved doing little projects and having Anne be able to provide that for me and help me with it, it’s just a really good experience.”
“TeamMates is an amazing program. It brings out the best in people. Some people don’t connect with their mentees or mentors, but you just have to find the right person. I feel like you’ll know when you find the right person, like I did with Anne,” said Shaye. “I know she’s going to be the one to stick with me to the end.”