Unlike some of the other other mentors, I don’t tend to have the same kids in my group from session to session. Because of this, my experience has been less of getting to know a few kids really well, and more of getting to know a lot of them a little bit. This opportunity to interact with so many kids has been a very positive experience in its own way.

A lot of small moments stick out to me from my time at Broad Ripple. Every time a student asks me to read their work and seems happy to hear my feedback is memorable to me; I feel privileged that they want to share it with me and hear what I have to say, and their work is always great and very fun to read. What stands out to me the most, however, is not the students’ work but the conversations I have with them.

When I’m talking to a student for the first time it can be difficult to engage them, and sometimes I have to hit on a few conversation topics before I find the one that will get them talking. But when I ask the right question, whether it be about their favorite TV show or their favorite subject in school or what they did over the weekend, and they start responding to me enthusiastically, I always feel like I’ve done something good. Making that connection is one of the most valuable parts of the experience to me, and I’m lucky to have had that moment with so many students.

I didn’t really know what to expect from the students or myself going into Broad Ripple, but I think what I’ve learned at this point in time is the value of those little moments, and the way those little moments can form bigger connections. And I’m grateful for every time I have that experience at Broad Ripple.

Eva Schafer is a senior English major.