“Guys, look—it’s Noah!”

That’s what I’m almost guaranteed to hear whenever my small group sees me for the first time on any given day. I almost take it for granted that I’m a true friend and guide to the kids of this awesome program, but I know how much my efforts mean to some of these kids.

Enrolling to become a mentor for students at Broad Ripple Magnet School has been one of the most eye-opening experiences of my college career. Getting to work with the kids is one of the most rewarding opportunities I’ve ever had at Butler University. I was kind of nervous at first for those first few sessions. I’m no stranger to putting myself out there and getting involved in situations that may be uncomfortable at first. I just reminded myself that this would be an incredibly rewarding experience. As it turns out, I’ve not only become a better mentor and role model than I ever thought I could be, but I’ve also become a better person thanks
to these kids.

I’ve mostly with the same group of kids every session and we’ve created some interesting short stories and poems. Brandy, Dreshawn, and Brandon are usually in the mood to write something which is awesome. But after a long day of traveling and classes, some kids would rather just have a conversation or an interesting discussion. Early on, I didn’t know how I felt about this. I questioned how good of a job I was doing constantly. If we hadn’t written anything that day, did we really accomplish anything? I realized how silly that was. Our discussions and conversations proved just as valuable in creating an outlet for creativity than any of our written prompts.

I decided instead to make a new goal for each session. As long as each kid in my group worked to show me some kind of imaginative creativity in their writing, conversations, or Open Mic performances, I was satisfied for that day. As it turns out, this wasn’t a challenge. Each of these kids are definitely capable and smart. They have so many things that they’re passionate about and would love to write about. I can’t wait to see what they do next.

Noah Holloway is a freshman English major.