Appreciating our Career Mentors
During these last two years, the pandemic has kept us from many of the meaningful traditions and activities that used to be part of the fabric of our school's identity and rhythms. One of those beloved traditions was our
annual Career Mentor Appreciation Luncheon that was hosted each spring to recognize and thank all of the amazing Career Mentors who work with our student interns. These are the individuals who transform our Corporate Work Study Program from an innovative idea into a life-changing experience for our students. These are the people who teach our students the basic hard and soft skills they need to succeed, who get to know them on a personal level, push them to take on harder tasks and greater responsibility; the folks who take them out to lunch, boost their confidence, and help them become integrated in a "grown up" workplace where they may be the only young person around.
For the first time since 2019, PCR was again able to honor and thank these dedicated individuals at an in person Career Mentor Appreciation Luncheon, hosted by Marian Inc. Emotions ran close to the surface as the group heard from freshmen Naomi Elizabeth Rice and Javion Newell about their experiences working at
Merchants Capital and the Indianapolis Zoo, respectively. Equally passionate about her experience was Carmen Martin, a Corporate Work Study mentor at IU Health, who spoke enthusiastically about how she has invested herself in her student workers and the transformation she has seen in them in the process.
Mentors also got to feel the love from a variety of our student workers through a special video that reflected just how much our students learn and grow at their Corporate Work Study jobs thanks to the patient help and support from their mentors.
Another event highlight was the inauguration of the Al Leighton Award, a new award created to recognize Career Mentors who go above and beyond to support their student workers and the Corporate Work Study Program as a whole.
"Al Leighton has always been the biggest supporter of the CWS program, always encouraging and challenging the CWS team to make this experience more beneficial to the student and the mentor," said Director of Corporate Work Study, Cindy Thompson. "Al challenged me to create an award to honor those career mentors who were the best of the best. He embodies what I believe is the best of the best, going above and beyond to make this program the best it can be. So what better to do than name the award after him."
In the spirit of this award, the school chose to name two inaugural recipients: none other than Al Leighton himself and MJ Insurance's Tricia Everhart.
It was truly special to gather together after these two years apart and to be in a room filled with people who mean so much to our school community! Thank you to all those who make this unique program possible and who give so much of themselves to our students.