One of my best friends/ college roommates were student leaders and mentors in college. After graduation I went into the job market and she continued on to graduate school. She was afforded the opportunity to become the Graduate Assistant over the program we had mentored with during undergrad. I was genuinely excited for her. It was a great fit.
One day a couple of months ago, as I was sitting on a bench in the rain waiting for a graduation to be over because I knew no one graduating, I received a tweet from one of my beloved MAPees (mentee). It said something about me getting an award and I was definitely confused. Then I received several more tweet followed by two phone calls. I became immediately afraid something had happened. I returned the call and Amani shrieked on the other end about how she’s won several awards and they were all for me.
“Whett?” was my response.
“Hold on Stella wants to talk to you” she babbled back
“I would like to let you know that the Superior Mentor award has been renamed in your honor”
“Yes, but it is loud in here so I’ll tell you more later, bye!”
They named an award after me. My best friend and my favorite and most influential supervisor had an award named after me! In so many ways this is much better than never having received MAP sponsor of the year any of the 4 years I mentored. I became a MAP sponsor because my friends made MAP seems so cool, so I signed up only to get the most non-caring, non-considerate MAP sponsor ever (although I worked with some who could have easily been just as bad). After a struggle ass freshmen year, I decided that I would become a MAP sponsor and make sure that any freshman I came in contact with had someone to confide in, keep it real with them, and cared enough about them to help them make it to graduation day. I had two MAPees that graduated in 3 and 1/2 years. 7 that graduated in 4. Seeing them graduate made me so happy because I knew their personal struggles and what they have to endure and overcome to see their commencement ceremony. I thought back to every Eagles In Diversity award ceremony I sat through and heard other mentors names called because of their work effort, and how hurt I was about that never being me and it seemed asinine. I don’t regret feeling the way I felt, because my feelings were warranted, but I realized that I didn’t get those awards because a bigger “award” was coming. It made me cry. I was truly touched and even more so that one of my 3rd generation MAPees was the very first recipient. Now I just hope they spell my name right.