Oneisha was one of Podium's teen Writing Mentorship Project leaders this summer in Podium's summer programs at the East End District Family Resource Center [https://www.facebook.com/edfrcrva/] and Peter Paul Development Center [https://www.peterpauldevcenter.org/]. This is what Oneisha had to say about her views on mentorship:
“Mentorship is very important in a world where people can be misguided and misjudged because they lack guidance. If a child, or even an adult, can have a mentor to show how things can turn out for better or for worse with the path you choose, then more people can be making great decisions instead of reckless ones that they did not know could mess up their livelihood, all because they lack guidance. For me being a mentor means that someone trusts me enough to help them when they are in need; it creates a bond of trust that every relationship needs. For my mentee, I would hope it means the same, that they feel some sort of safety in my presence and that they can share whatever they need with me.
Deciding to become a writing mentor was never something I actually thought about, but when the opportunity presented itself, I took it. I like the thought of helping someone ejecting their emotions through writing, because when you write with emotion of any kind it tends to be explained very well through your words without your knowing most of the time. Writing has always been something I loved and would never want or allow someone to take that from me. I want to tell other children that, too--that no one can take your words and that what you write has to be liked by you before it can be liked by your audience. Your confidence has to show through your work and your performance. I just want to be able to share that with them.
During my role in the Writing Mentorship Project, I have learned that everyone does not think like me. I have also learned that I need to put my best foot forward in situations that could make me uncomfortable. I have learned that showing how you feel on the job can affect your work environment and even the students. In the end I learned it is always a group effort that counts at the end of the day.”