One of the many amazing things about being a Leadership Advancement Scholar, is that I have been paired with a sophomore mentor. My mentor is Ali Denman, who is the cutest and sweetest girl alive. The weekend of September 10th, we embarked on adventure with LAS15 and LAS16 to Eagle Village in Hersey, Michigan. On this retreat we participated in different leadership building activities and challenge courses.
Ali and I were paired together during all the different activities throughout the weekend. Though I have known Ali for some time now, this experience really helped to grow our bond and friendship. When it came time to participate in the high ropes course, neither Ali or I were very nervous. So we decided to get up there and do as much as possible and have the best time possible.
We made it up 40 feet in the air and began the course. We got through all the obstacles with ease. But once we got towards the end of the course, we went for an obstacle that we were to cross as a partnership. During this we were walking along a rope-bridge type obstacle where one of use was suppose to walk backwards. This was the first time the course made me nervous. So I reluctantly turned around on the wobbly bridge. Ali grabbed my hands to support me, but I still did not feel much more stable. I told her I was going to fall, but Ali looked into my eyes and respond “Don’t worry I’ve got you”. This is a pretty common phrase and I knew I was safe, but in this moment I feel like my connection with Ali really solidified.
We completed the challenge and made it back onto the ground safely to tell the story. Following the debrief we set goals for ourselves this year. Mine was to actively challenge myself, especially when I feel confident and try new things. Ali said she wanted to have a good relationship with me where she is not “mom-ing” me but being my friend. To me this means Ali is the bigger sister I never had. After this weekend I knew that Ali was someone I can depend on to hold me accountable for my goals, provide me with guidance through this new experience, will support me no matter what, and will be a life-long friend who truly cares about me.
Next year I hope to be the same for my little mentee.