“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepares for it today.” – Malcolm X
For a number of reasons Malcolm X statement is one of my favorite quotes, but one reason in particular is that it seems to relate to the stage in life I am currently experiencing. I feel I am constantly learning through new experiences that push me forward each day. However, it is easy to get distracted from the preparation process. I think AAPD acknowledges those distractions and that’s part of reason they organized a mentor segment of the program. The mentor placed in my life is a true blessing to me. Excuse my informality, but Shout out to Michael Murray and Dana Fink because I was paired with the best person for me I feel! Andraea LaVant rolled into K&L Gates building looking extremely beautiful, strong, and determined to make a difference. At least that’s how I saw her. I was nervous because this was a person placed in my life to make a profound difference, and I had high expectations. In my eyes to agree to be a mentor means more than seeing your mentee every blue moon, or sending a couple emails. It means truly caring for what the other is experiencing and asking them how can I as an unforced and voluntary mentor enhance their journey. However, I was also nervous for it being an awkward experience where our personalities were so different it sparked no interest to keep contact. What if she saw nothing particularly unique about me? I would have felt unsuccessful in things I previously thought were accomplishments.
Yet, those thoughts soon became irrelevant. It was a matter of seconds common ground was established between two strangers; two strangers soon to become close partners for at the least a summer time. Sunday is the day we worship the Lord together and then spend time building upon my learning objectives for the summer. Yet, that isn’t what draws me to Andraea LaVant. It’s that she literally takes time out of her schedule on a weekly basis to see how I’m doing. Why? Why would someone be such a powerful influence on someone they have just come to know? I soon found the why isn’t nearly as important as the reaction that I have from her actions. I want to be just like her, truly making a difference by pushing the next person towards excellence on all folds of their life. I came to DC to learn, and not just to make my life better in the future but to help the next person along with tremendous opportunities. In Washington, DC I have been introduced to a true mentor who helps me on that path. I am growing on a weekly basis in her signature Academic, Personal, Professional and Spiritual method. The constant preparing I am taking advantage of over this summer is something I’m blessed to have an opportunity to do. However, this blog post is dedicated to the person who ensures I am not losing focus, the person who takes time out of their schedule to look into mine. A blessing in my life, Andraea LaVant.