by Grace Elkus Senior Reporter

This week, I spoke with Nathan Thomas, a senior at Elon and the lead male mentor for Elon Academy’s summer program.  The Elon Academy is a program for high school students from the Alamance-Burlington School System who will be first-generation college students.  Participants attend a four week summer session at Elon, where they work with Elon student mentors who help them strengthen their academic skills as well as assist them in college application process.

Although the summer portion is the biggest part of Elon Academy, students also come to campus on various Saturday’s during the year, Thomas said. Furthermore, representatives from the Academy visit the students at their respective colleges after they graduate from the program.  This ensures they still feel connected to the Academy and the relationship stays strong.

Thomas explained the role of the mentor as a cross between a camp counselor and a TA.  The mentors get to know the students on a personal level but also know their goal is to fulfill the academic mission of the Academy. Elon students who are interested in becoming mentors can attend the program’s information sessions, which will provide more information about what it’s really like to be a mentor, the types of students they will be working with and the ins and outs of the job. For more information about Elon Academy and the role of mentors, look for Grace’s story in an upcoming issue of The Pendulum.