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Perficient Employee Helps Mentor the Young Minds of Boston

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Eric Walk, a Senior Technical Consultant with Perficient has served as a mentor with Minds of Boston for the past three years. The organization helps passionate and driven high school students from low income households gather the tools and guidance they need to help them continue their path to college.
mindsEric was inspired to join the organization because he realizes the opportunities that he’s had throughout the course of his life are what allowed him to realize his potential. He’s found the kids that he works with have the potential for greatness; they just don’t have the tools or support to get there. The opportunity to make a difference in these kids lives and help provide the tools to get into college and dream big inspired me.
He further explained that the program is based around mentors and students who are paired for about three years beginning in 10th grade. He’s been able to help his mentee on writing, professional skills, personal development, math, science, and ACT prep. The program also works with the students to apply to an academic summer program after 10th or 11th grade. This year Eric has been working with his student to finalize her college list, write applications, and find the scholarship and financial aid she’ll need.  The biggest reward for him will be seeing his student head off to college next fall as the first in her family to do so.
When asked what the biggest challenge he faced as a mentor, Eric mentioned the culture gap as an obstacle they had to overcome. The student he work with emigrated from Haiti when she was very young and her parents have since divorced. “At first, I found it really difficult to relate,” Eric said. “I’m sure I’ve learned more much more from my student than I could have ever taught her, such as lessons of survival and perseverance, from which my privileged life has sheltered me. It’s been a humbling and moving experience.”
What advice would Eric give to someone who is considering mentoring? “The best thing to do is open your eyes.  Opportunities are everywhere! I think mentorship is one of the most meaningful things that one can do. Working personally with someone who is driven to succeed and having the opportunity to cultivate that passion into something amazing is the most rewarding experience I’ve had.”
Minds Matter has chapters in many major metropolitan areas nationwide. 
 

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