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Mentoring Minds That Matter

Since November 2020, Legacy of Hope has partnered with West Oak Lane Charter School to create a student leadership program that teaches middle school students skills in entrepreneurship, accounting, and communication, among other essential leadership skills. Eighth grader, Noah Hadaway, and seventh grader, Ajah Brown, are two students currently enrolled in the program. For the past two months, they’ve been working on a project that will bring assistance to a teacher at West Oak Lane who has been affected by cancer. As they help this teacher with grocery delivery and home repairs, the students will apply the skills in financial accounting, communication, and leadership that they’ve learned throughout their time in the mentorship program. Brown says of their work so far, “We've been trying to help the family of someone who has cancer. We’re getting repairs on their house, working with balances to figure out how to save money, and writing letters to people in the community to help us. We’ve also made shirts so that we can raise money to fund all of this.”

The students in the program are just as passionate and driven as they are hard working. Brown and Hadaway both agreed that the most rewarding part of the program is the experience and the skills they have gained through it. “I think the experience is the best part. I’ve never done anything like this before, it’s fun to know that you can help somebody. It helps with learning teamwork skills. You learn a lot about money and negotiating -- overall the experience is very helpful,” explained Ajah. Noah added on, mentioning “My favorite thing about the program is the marketing and communication skills [I’ve gained]. I had poor communication skills before this, and I feel like I’ve gotten way better at communicating with others.” They both highlighted the impact the program has had in preparing them with skills to work effectively in professional environments and in leadership positions, paving the way for future opportunities they might find themselves in. Brown mentioned that she would like to be an oncologist when she grows up, stating that she always knew that she wanted to be some kind of doctor, while Noah would like to be a stock trader, taking a particular interest in the business decisions and planning aspects of the program.