April 2018
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On May 1, the Hillsborough Education Foundation is participating in Give Day Tampa Bay, a 24-hour online day of giving organized by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. Give Day provides local nonprofit organizations with the chance to promote and raise money to support their mission. This year, we are encouraging education supporters to make a gift to the Foundation in honor of their favorite teacher and share stories about that teacher in the comments on our Fundraising Page, as well as on social media, using the hashtag #ThankATeacher. Give Day donations help HCPS students in need (and their teachers) via classroom/school project funding, school supplies, scholarships, mentoring and more.
Additionally, early donations will be accepted starting  April 17

Click here anytime between April 17 and the end of the day May 1 to make a gift in honor of your favorite teacher.

March's Mentor of the Month
Kylie Ross
1. How did you become involved in mentoring through the Hillsborough Education Foundation?
I became involved in mentoring through HEF from an ad for volunteering for the foundation that I saw in a VolunteerMatch email. I had been wanting to find a way to be more involved in my community and this opportunity to become a mentor seemed like a perfect fit! 

2. What  has been the most rewarding part of mentoring?
For me, the most rewarding part of mentoring is getting to know great young people in my area and having a positive impact on their lives. I have really enjoyed getting to know my mentee, Lisbeth, and I feel that I have learned just as much from her as she has learned from me since we have been meeting. 

3. What do you believe is the key to being a quality mentor?
I think there are a lot of important aspects to being a quality mentor, but one thing that I think is key is being patient and being creative to find ways to establish common ground with your mentee. It can be really difficult to establish a relationship from the start and having patience and giving my mentee space to just be silent and get comfortable was one of the most effective ways our relationship started to develop. Also, being creative and trying to tap into your mentee's interests and find ways that they intersect with yours are great qualities for a mentor to have. One thing my mentee and I have in common is our love for cats and we would often talk about our cats during our meetings. And then one day it hit me that we could take our love for cats and do something productive for the community and since, we have been working on a project to make tie-blankets for shelter cats. This small idea came from finding common ground :)

  4.When you are not working with students, how do you prefer to spend your free time?
When I'm not working with students, I am a full-time PHD student and working with undergraduate students! But when I'm not working with them, I enjoy getting outdoors as much as possible, swimming, biking, and running, and I love to take my rollerblades out to the Causeways or Flatwoods Park in Tampa. I also enjoy creating art from recycled materials (like bottle caps) and baking.  
5. What do you hope your mentee will learn from you?
I hope my mentee learns the value of getting an education, and the privilege that education really is. I hope she learns that being organized now can pay dividends in the future and that giving back to her community is valuable in so many ways and not just to earn community service hours. But above all, I hope she learns that it's okay not to have all the answers or have a fool-proof plan of what she wants to do or "be" in the future, but it's important to work hard and do her best so that she can shine to her greatest potential wherever her life leads.  


Skills For Life Report

April:  Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Problems can arise at work, school, home, and all other aspects of life. Working through these issues can be difficult, and it's not always easy to know if your solution is the right thing to do. Assessing a situation, deciding on a solution and communicating to reach that solution are all steps to practicing excellent critical thinking & problem solving.

Problem solving & critical thinking refers to the ability to use  knowledge, facts, and data to effectively solve problems. This doesn't mean you need to have an immediate answer. It means you have to be able to think on your feet, assess problems and find solutions. The ability to develop a well-thought-out solution within a reasonable time frame, however, is a skill that employers value greatly. Employers want employees who can work through problems on their own or as an effective member of a team. Ideal employees can think critically and creatively, share thoughts and opinions, use good judgment, and make decisions.

The  Skills for Life   Toolkit has four activities related to Critical Thinking & Problem Solving to aid in your discussions. These activities explore subtopics related to Critical Thinking & Problem Solving, including listening, perspective, ethics, and good conflict resolution. 

If you have not taken advantage of the Skills for Life toolkit, we recommend contacting William Dailey to request a hard copy (wdailey@educationfoundation.com). Otherwise, please refer to our digital download option list below. If you decide to use it or are currently doing so, please provide us your feedback so we may continue to refine and improve this resource for our mentors and mentees.

Join our NEW
Mentors Facebook Group!

Stay up-to-date on all of our mentor resources and events or share your experiences mentoring with others! 

A NEW virtual meeting place for us to get together -  Join our HEF Mentors Facebook Group today!

Mentor Resource Alert

Closing Out the Year with Your Mentee

As you know, the end of the school year is quickly approaching and many of you have asked us "How can I stay in contact with my mentee over the summer?" Well, please see the highlights below for reminders of our mentoring rules and suggestions for ways to stay in touch.

Last Meeting:

Whenever you schedule your last meeting with your mentee, please make sure to tell them that you will not be back to see them for the remainder of the school year. You should also determine the following:
  • Agree with your mentee to the frequency of contact over the summer (ideally, once every two weeks).
  • Determine if they have any plans to change schools the following year. Or if they are an eighth-grader, where they may attend high school.
  • Be sure to thank the school staff who helped set up your visits with your mentee.
  • Exchange contact information to ensure you each have the most updated info.
  • Mentors and mentees are encouraged to communicate with each other, in an agreed upon way, over the summer. Ideally, a text/email/phone call every two weeks.
  • Penning a letter or sending them a postcard from vacation can be a fun and different way to communicate with them.
Visit Restrictions:
  • Meeting with your mentee without HEF's supervision or HEF's prior approval is strictly prohibited.
  • Driving your mentee is strictly prohibited.
  • Student's are NOT required to meet with their mentor over the summer.
  • Create a summer "time capsule" that collects meaningful objects from the summer experiences that each of you have. This can be discussed and shared with each other when you meet again in the Fall.
  • Pen a letter or send them a postcard from vacation. This can be a fun and different way to communicate with them and something they may not expect!
  • Try cooking the same recipe (a cake, for example) and share how it turned out for each of you with pictures or family comments about its quality.
  • Read a book together and share your progress and thoughts about the storyline (make sure the mentee is actually interested in the book and doesn't feel like it's an "assignment").
  • Attend summer volunteer activities organized by the Hillsborough Education Foundation (you will receive formal invites. Dates have not been finalized for summer projects).
  • Shopping Day, Saturday, July 21: All TSIC families are invited and mentors are invited to attend with their mentee or volunteer at the event.
Mark Your Calendar!

Mentor Appreciation Party 
April 26 HEF
Last Day of School May 25

The College Success Team
William Dailey                    Anna Laird                  Jocelin Tapia         
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If you know someone who is interested in mentoring, 
have them visit our website for more information: