Pathways: Mentoring for Success

This year new students of color will have 25 upperform mentors who will support their academic and social transition to Choate Rosemary Hall through a new program introduced this fall called Pathways.

The Office of Equity and Inclusion introduced this new initiative in a pre-orientation program for new students of color and their parents on September 2-3. More than 43 attendees participated in this community-building event. During Pathways, each new student of color was matched with a "Pathways Mentor," a fifth or sixth form student of color who will serve as a guide and resource to help new students navigate their first year at Choate. During the school year there will be a Choate Pathways event every six weeks for mentors to check in formally with their mentees, share valuablecinformation about the first year, and have fun.

Says sixth former Abigail Drummond '18, "What I enjoy most about my role as a mentor is my ability to be a leader on campus and make the experience of kids of color like myself so much easier. I remember how transitioning to Choate was pretty difficult for me. What helped me through my freshman year was the group of freshmen and seniors of color that became my second family."

Beth Johnson P '21 had no reservations about leaving her daughter Annora at school. "As an alum, I am familiar with Choate. When I began my adventures as a Choate student, we did not have any type of Pathways program so I did not feel much support being one of the few students of color from a middle class Midwestern family with no family or friends on the East Coast." She adds, "My greatest takeaway from the Pathways program is that Annora has the multi-level support she needs as a student of color. She feels comfortable with and valued for who she is. As such she can address others on an even playing ground. She really loves her new Choate family and all that the community has to offer"

Victor and Sarah Ekperigin, parents of Grace '21, also expressed gratitude for the new program, "To parents of color like us, the Pathways experience was comforting. I felt like my child was among friends and care givers. We could walk away confident that she would not be alone. We felt like we mattered to the fabric of the institution, to how the School viewed itself and its larger purpose. We were grateful to be part of its inaugural session.

For Valerie Thomas P '21, mother of Glenn '21, it was the fact that the School has empowered Dr. Keith Hinderlie and Advisers to Students Color, Cathryn Stout and Charlie Fuentes, to provide continued support for students and families of color throughout their tenure at Choate, that was most appealing. She adds, "There are a large number of adults who are determined to assist each student, as best they can, to have a positive experience both in and outside of the classroom."