Don’t judge me too harshly, but I was one of those people who signed up for Writing in the Schools not because I have a great desire to mentor kids, but because it’s a requirement for Butler undergrads to take a community service course. I wasn’t particularly excited to be mentoring kids, especially middle-school kids. I struggled in the beginning to get into the experience. I looked at coming to Broad Ripple as a chore, and I was never excited to go.

About a month later however, I realized it was impossible not to love these kids. I found a group of girls who sit with me every day, and the more I got to know them and see them not as kids I’m required to mentor but as people, I started to really care. They always come in and they’re full of excitement and energy. They’re curious. They want you to tell them about your day, and want you to read their stories. They look up to you, and want you to listen to them.

Broad Ripple is now my favorite part of every week. It really does feel rewarding to mentor these kids. I always thought people were just lying to themselves when they said they said they liked working with middle school kids, but now I’m one of them. I can’t wait to meet up with my new friends and talk to them about their days, and to help them with their writing, friend drama, or whatever they need. I can happily say the saddest part of my semester will be saying goodbye to those girls.

Bailey Bettis is a junior English major.