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Chicago Scholars February Mentor of the Month

Alicia Oladipo, Mentor since 2022

This month, we’re continuing our Mentor of the Month series in celebration of our Mentor application opening! Be sure to come back every month to hear the stories of some of our incredible mentors, what called them to take on this responsibility, and special stories of connection with their Scholar cohorts.

Our February Mentor of the Month is Alicia Oladipo, who has been working with our Scholars since 2022, and has learned that empathy is her most useful tool.

“The most meaningful part of being a Mentor is empathy. Empathy has been a significant aspect of my Mentor journey at Chicago Scholars, as it allows me to lead from a place of authenticity and care. As a Mentor, you must have the ability to view situations from the perspectives of your Scholars. By doing so, you cultivate deeper relationships with your Scholars and provide them with the emotional support they need,” said Alicia.

As Alicia heads into her second year as a mentor, she’s been able to develop lasting bonds with the Scholars in her cohort, making sure they feel supported and heard as they head off to college.

“When a Scholar reaches out to me regarding a tough situation or in need of advice, I try to view the situation from their eyes. I pause, listen, and affirm their feelings, as each Scholar has their own unique background and story. As a fellow first-generation student, I want to show them that this is a safe space, that their feelings matter, and that their experiences are important. With every day as a mentor, I make sure to support my Scholars so that they not only succeed, but thrive.”

Inspired by Alicia’s story? Head here to learn more about applying to be a mentor! The mentor application is now open to support our new incoming class of Chicago Scholars – head here to check out the application and apply before the deadline on May 3rd!