For our celebrations recognizing our fifth award cycle, we invited several people to answer five questions about their JMB Award experience. Rosina and Angie answered their five questions by phone and text, the standard way they’ve built much of their two-year relationship.
1. Angie, what did you hope to get from having a JMB Award mentor?
I was fortunate to have a mentor throughout high school, and I remember all the great things that I learned from her. I wanted the same experience with JMB Award, and I've gotten it. Rosina has been a great mentor. I'm the first in my family to go to college in the United States. During my first year at Fairfield University, I texted Rosina about my doubts and stress. She always listened to me and, most importantly, she gave me honest advice.
She's given me the confidence to advocate for myself on campus. With her, I’ve learned the importance of having someone you can talk with and trust. I always look forward to talking to Rosina because I know she gives me the advice she probably wanted when she was in college.
2. Rosina, you’re a founding member of JMB Award’s advisory board. Why did you wish to be a mentor, too?
It was meeting Angie that made me realize I wanted to be a mentor. From the beginning of my work with the award, I wanted to be as helpful to our community as possible. But meeting Angie during the 2017 award cycle made me realize I wanted to be HER mentor. I knew from the moment we met that she would be a wonderful addition to our community!
3. How did you two grow together as mentor and mentee?
We've known each other for two years now, but growing together takes time. You just have to start talking and slowly build trust. In the beginning the award gave us a structure for the conversations, but as we went along we developed our own style. I remember being so happy when Angie started reaching out to talk on her own, not just as part of our regularly scheduled meetings. As our trust grew, we began to talk about other things besides academic life. We continue to learn more about each other and this only strengthens our mentoring relationship.
4. What’s been your favorite shared experience as part of the JMB Award community?
Every summer JMB Award holds a daylong retreat for students and mentors. The retreat covers a variety of topics important to students and invites speakers to talk or work with us. Last summer Yasmine Mustafa came to speak with us about her experience as an immigrant.
Yasmine now owns her own business, ROAR for Good. But she came to talk with us about her undocumented status and what that meant when she was a college student— and how she worked hard to graduate. She shared how meaningful it was for her when she finally because a U.S. citizen.
It was an eye-opening talk for everyone and our favorite shared experience (so far!).
5. What five adjectives would you use to describe JMB Award?
This year JMB Award opened its fifth award cycle! We'll soon be doing the hard work of narrowing our pool to a group of finalists and then our four awardees. When we welcome these new awardees in June, here are the five adjectives we hope they'll also use when they talk about our community: