About a decade ago, the Castleton Mentoring Program was founded, matching up Castleton College students with students at Castleton Elementary School.
The college kids were told to visit their mentee once a week and serve as a role model to them while “planting the seed” for higher education.
Castleton Freshman Bethany Lanfear, a member of the women’s basketball team, can attest to the impact her mentor had on her when she was in elementary school about a decade ago.
“She pushed me to excel and wanted me to do good in school and in life,” said Lanfear of her mentor. She also said that her mentor encouraged her to follow her dreams and play basketball, which she is doing.
The mentor pair still stays in contact, but the support and advice these days is tailored to different areas of life, including guys and college life, Lanfear said.
Lanfear’s Mentor, Melissa Rahmsdorf, was a mentor for the three years they were paired together. She said she joined the program because she loves kids and wanted to be a role model.
“She is doing fantastic!” Rahmsdorf said proudly.
Rahmsdorf said Lanfear always loved basketball and she would encourage her to “dream big and continue on the path” she was on.
When asked if she thought she had an impact on Lanfear being at Castleton and playing basketball, she responded humbly.
“She says I have and I’d like to think so too,” Rahmsdorf said.
Anna-Michelle Fabian, a freshman field hockey player, had two different mentors during her time at CES and remembers both fondly.
“They definitely made an impact of my decision to come to college,” she said. Fabian explained that as a young learner, she wasn’t motivated and didn’t pay as much attention as she should have. That changed when her mentor was present.
“They made sure I was staying on track. They made the experience of school a lot better when they came to see me,” she said.
Fabian hopes to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher, something she also credits her mentors for.
“I think they taught me a lot and helped me make my decision to teach kids as well,” she said.
Timothea Carone, a freshman softball player, discussed her memories of having a mentor by saying, “I wanted to be just like her!”
Carone talked about the impact her mentor had on her coming to Castleton because she was a member of the women’s ice hockey team here.
“She was my role model for the longest time,” she said.