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Emaan Rana

Western University

Medical Sciences '25

For the past two years I have been an executive member of the Women in Science organization at Western I established the first high school mentorship program between current Western students and over 80 high school students nationwide. I had many responsibilities such as leading workshops and developing guidebooks for mentors and mentees regarding the structure of the program. This gives me a unique insight into the ins and outs of maintaining mentorship programs similar to what LEAP has. It's also why I value accountability and dedication to being a mentor. I believe this leadership role especially equips me to be a mentor as I know the administrative side of the program as well as what it means to be a good mentor. For me, that has to do with communication which is why I and my fellow executives would have monthly check-ins with our mentors and mentees as well as host workshops to provide more insight into relevant topics like university applications and mental health while providing a chance for pairs to talk to one another with our guidance and support whenever it was needed. These experiences have allowed me to talk directly to mentors and mentees as well as meet their concerns whether that be through more workshops or helping them start conversations by giving them icebreakers. I've also been able to help mentor students through the program so I recognize the needs and questions high school students often have. My first year of undergrad had its highs and lows as everyone does but what I think helps me better meet the needs of my mentors is the fact that I personally was a mentee in undergraduate mentorship programs at my university and I have reached out to educational counsellors. This has helped me communicate my needs about the transition from high school to university including the pressure to meet my own expectations, adjusting to commuting as well as juggling personal responsibilities with a heavier workload. I also appreciate how helpful it is when the mentor reaches out first and checks in often as mentees are often nervous or lost as to how to start the conversation. Introducing ourselves even through emails and establishing ground rules about the topics that can be addressed and at what times can help provide more structure and guidance to mentees which I personally was grateful for. Most of all though, I think given all the responsibilities mentors and mentees both have it’s so easy to lose contact but when a mentor sends in a quick message just to check-in it can make a hug impact. That's why my hope is that regardless of how long I mentor any of my students I want them to know that they can always reach out to me even after the term of the program may finish. I want to create long-lasting relationships with my mentees and make sure they know that they aren't alone through this transition.
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