Tiger Mentor application process begins, students to gain beneficial experience

It’s that time of year again. It’s time for current sophomores and juniors to apply to be Tiger Mentors for the 2010-2011 school year. 

Social studies teacher and mentor coordinator Courtney Buffington said that the application process is extremely competitive. 

“It is tough competition because we have so many wonderful students at BVHS, but we are looking for a variety of personalities and leadership styles,” she said. “We don’t just want the ‘usual suspects.'”

To become a Tiger Mentor, you must first go through a unique application process.  

“You complete a written application that is electronically submitted,” she said.  “I request teacher feedback on applicants from the school’s faculty, and finally an interview and lesson performance are done by each applicant.”

Current Tiger Mentor, senior Kaitlin Long says that the application process is pretty competitive. 

“So many people apply because it’s an awesome program,” she said. “But there are only so many spots.”

Because this process is so competitive, Buffington has a few tips for students looking into being mentors.  

“Advice I would give is to be a model student inside and outside the classroom,” she said. “Show you have a strong ability to communicate with both teachers and students.” 

Long has some advice of her own for future mentors.

“When you go into the interview, be yourself,” she said. “Don’t try to act like ‘the perfect mentor’ because there’s no such thing. Mrs. Buffington and the other teachers in there are looking for a wide variety of people.”

If you get accepted to be a mentor, you acquire a number of responsibilities.

“Mentors are required to attend a summer training day in August as well as serve as leaders during Freshmen week in August — that time period is my favorite for the mentors,” Buffington said. “After that, you do the Thursday Tiger Time classes and communicate with fellow mentors to plan your lessons each week.”  

Long believes that it is the responsibility of the Tiger Mentors to make the freshman feel like part of the BV tradition.

“You become responsible for letting the new freshmen know how amazing our school is,” she said. “You have to fill them in on traditions and things like homecoming. It’s a big responsibility. You want them to feel welcome and at home from the get-go.”

According to Buffington, there are many benefits to becoming a Tiger Mentor.

“As a Tiger Mentor you have a chance to develop relationships with kids not in your grade and make a positive impact on a freshman’s first year of high school,” Buffington said.

Buffington said for students who are attending Blue Valley Southwest next year, information about the BVSW mentor program should be released later in the spring.

Long believes that overall, being a Tiger Mentor is a very beneficial  

“Being a Tiger Mentor is a really awesome experience,” she said. “I still remember my mentors from freshman year and I really did look up to them. So being a mentor for other people is something that maybe they’ll remember too.”

by Jordan McEntee