March 2017 Mentoring Highlight

Whether it is formal or informal mentoring, research shows that the relationship has complimentary benefits. Mentors in informal relationships tend to provide encouragement to stay motivated and on the right path and help with youth development.
Formal mentoring relationships, on the other hand, typically provide more academic support and other life problems like finding employment or getting into college.

New PYO mentor Vanessa Michelou, once a marine biologist and now a scientist working with microbes at a biotech company, shares why she wants to help guide Durham youth. Michelou, a Colombia native, was matched with Heyda P. due to their similar childhood backgrounds and their mutual interest in marine biology and science.

“I started mentoring Hispanic children and immigrant families when I lived in California. We would teach them about science as a family, creating connections between parents and kids, as well as awareness about our planet and the importance of science in everyday life. I found this to be the most rewarding activity I had for a while, so when I moved to Durham, I started looking for a place where I could give back to those who have not been as fortunate as I have with opportunities and career successes. I started mentoring Heyda about a month and a half ago, and so far it has been a very rewarding experience.”

PYO’s hope is that Heyda will be able to benefit from Michelou’s expertise in the science field and that they’ll develop a strong, long-lasting relationship.

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Durham, NC 27707 USA

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