A Snapshot of Duke's Mentorship Program

March 1, 2010

Lauren Kelley is Duke China Care Club's Mentorship Coordinator and shares below a glimpse of how this club supports the adoptive children in their North Carolina community.

Duke China Care club’s Mentorship Program strives to build long-lasting personal relationships between mentees and their Duke student mentors. The youth in our Mentorship Program are paired with a mentor who serves as a friend and a positive college role-model for their mentees. Beyond playing a “big sibling” role, many of our mentors attend Chinese cultural events with their mentees in order to foster pride in their birth culture. Parents have expressed their appreciation of Duke China Care club mentors who model what it means to be a strong, successful Chinese-American.

"Our daughter Mei has really enjoyed the mentorship program. She has enjoyed spending time with the young women at the events and we, as her parents, have also appreciated the opportunities you have presented to Mei. Thank you!" said parent Sue Lander.

Duke China Care mentor and mentee at the annual Halloween event Duke China Care mentor and mentee at the annual Halloween event While the Mentorship Program focuses on fostering personal relationships through one-on-one interactions between mentors and mentees, we also strive to build a community through hosting monthly group mentorship events. These events provide an opportunity for the children and teens to spend time with their friends of similar family backgrounds and allow parents to form a network. These events typically highlight an aspect of Chinese culture; some of our past activities have been cooking Chinese dishes, learning Chinese dances and calligraphy lessons. Ten year old Riley, one of the mentees, says that, "Having Michelle as a mentor is really fun. It is cool to have someone that’s Asian like me to hang out with! She is awesome!"  

Lia and her mentor, AvaLia and her mentor, AvaAva Feng, one of the Duke mentors, finds it just as rewarding. "Lia and I are the best of pals. I find her love of life so contagious. Together, we ushered in the Lunar New Year by decorating our favorite tree on campus with yellow paper lanterns. I know she will continue, in the upcoming year, to be the compassionate, self-motivated, and beautiful
individual that she is, and I feel grateful for the chance to be a part of her life."

Started in the spring of 2008, Duke China Care club’s Mentorship Program paired eleven local youth adopted from China with a Duke student mentor. Since then, our Mentorship Program has expanded three-fold and we are excited to have 34 children and teens involved! We are thrilled to see the program continue to grow every year.

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