Joining the Elevate team last year, Sarah Dougherty wasn’t new to helping kids achieve their dreams but wanted to do so every day. Here some are excerpts of that conversation:
Congratulations on completing your first year in the role of TeacherMentor at Elevate Oregon! Tell us how it’s going so far for you.
It’s been a life-changing experience for me. I absolutely love it. I brag about my job everywhere I go, because it doesn’t feel like a job. It feels like I’m meant to do this.
What inspired you to join the team at Elevate, and what is your biggest inspiration in this work?
I knew (Elevate TeacherMentor) Marty Williams before I worked here, and when I found out that he worked at Elevate Oregon, I was like, “Oh my gosh, you can get paid to do this?” So I educated myself about Elevate, and I decided that this is something I have to do.
When I was in high school, I went through a lot, and I didn’t have anyone to talk help me. I struggled. I think about that a lot because a lot of them do not have somebody to talk to, or look up to, or aspire to be. That inspires me to be a role model for them, because that’s definitely what I needed, and they’ve got it tougher than me; I don’t know how they do it, because they’ve got it really tough.
Tell us how your experience as a youth leader has helped you in your work as an Elevate TeacherMentor at Parkrose High School.
My work with youth at my church definitely helped me to be relatable to the kids here. The hardest challenge was building that relationship. It was hard to break that wall down, but I know how to navigate, how to listen, and how to talk to youth without talking at them. My students are sophomores now, so I’m looking forward to seeing how much they’ve grown in just one year. I’m big on critical thinking, so I’m excited to dive deeper into lessons, and to get them talking more about what’s really going on in the world.