By Ruslan Fomenko
How many of us can confidently say that our lives were positively impacted by a mentor? Although it is not as obvious in the earlier stages of life, positive role models have hopefully been guiding many of us toward success. For some of us it may have been parents, a caring teacher, or maybe an older sibling; moreover, their guidance could have felt so natural and sincere, that we may not have comprehended its impact at the time. Fortunately, at least in my personal experience, there is rarely a scarcity of experienced and compassionate individuals who are willing to help hard working young minds.
Mentorship can be of benefit as early as high school, with reports showing that students who met regularly with their mentors were 52% less likely to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip class (nationalservice.gov/mentor ). Mentorship can be present in higher education as well, and in this instance it becomes more focused on a particular academic path chosen by an individual aspiring to dedicate his or her life to a field of study. Mentors can assist students in various ways: whether it is a professional advisor helping establish goals or a compassionate adult who can instill wisdom, the impact a mentor can have on the future of a mentee has no limits.
In addition to acquiring a professional advisor, what one will hopefully find in a mentor is a friend and confidant, who will be glad to pass on his or her knowledge and watch the mentee grow. Who knows, maybe one day you will be able to assist your mentor in a professional endeavor, while demonstrating the skills and knowledge that have sprouted from the seed planted by them many years ago. These individuals sacrifice their personal time and effort for the betterment of the passionate minds, who will one day contribute to the world in a positive manner, and become mentors themselves.
I can personally attest to the importance of mentorship and the impact it had on my life. If I had not met Dr. Janet Steven during my undergraduate years, I would not have been exposed to the world of scientific research. If I was not taken under the wing of Dr. Felix Rivera-Mariani during my graduate studies, then I would not have had the chance to participate in multidisciplinary scientific research as a part of RIPLRT or write this blog. Ultimately, I am extremely grateful to all of my mentors for providing me with the tools to succeed and to use my scientific knowledge for the betterment of society.
About the author -- Ruslan Fomenko is a recent graduate of the M.S. in Biomedical Sciences at Larkin University College of Biomedical Sciences. Ruslan is also a Research Assistant - Intern in the RIPL_Effect Research Team under the mentorship of principal investigator, Dr. Félix E. Rivera-Mariani. Ruslan is also one of the certified phlebotomists in the RIPLRT.