Paying it Forward

Our next blog post comes from Becky Kruger, one of our elementary AmeriCorps School-Based Mentors at Soda Creek Elementary School. Becky was born and raised in the suburbs of St. Louis, MO and graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, NE in May of 2013 with a B.S. in Elementary Education. She is interested in pursuing a career in teaching or counseling and is thrilled to be in the elementary school setting working with kids. Here is what Becky said when discussing who mentored her:

Upon entering and completing my college education I was faced with a series of tricky questions-What should I do? What job should I have? What are my passions that I can share with the world? These questions led me to reflect on the life experiences and educational opportunities I was blessed to have. Through those experiences and privilege, which ones had I discovered to be most meaningful to my life, development, personal motivation, and success thus far? After much thought, I was overwhelmed by the presence and impact of all the adults that served as role models and teachers during my “seasoned” 22 years. Even now every teacher, coach, boss, family member, and mentor floats through my mind as I recall their lessons, support, perseverance, and unconditional love. And how did they make their way into my heart and stay there? By forming a relationship with me, earning my trust, and having a great deal of patience.

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Each and every adult figure touched my life differently-challenging me along the way, teaching me a lesson, or serving as a relentless cheerleader. I honestly cannot even begin to name drop all the positive figures over the years because I could go on without end. But all of these mentors shaped me into who I am today through every math lesson, soccer practice, report card, work evaluation, chore, and scolding I endured. They also taught me to sew, run, teach, ride a bike, and dress myself. They picked me up when I fell, boosted my ego, and their smiles never faltered. Had I not had a phenomenal set of parents and a generous multitude of caring adults to teach me the virtues of hard work and integrity I can honestly say I would be a significantly different person. So, in honor of all my exceptional experiences I feel no worthier devotion than to pay it forward and attempt to positively impact a new generation. I am proud and honored to be here in Steamboat Springs working at Soda Creek Elementary as a school based mentor. It is honestly a dream come true over the last few years to be serving in a school and forming relationships with incredibly entertaining, brave, and welcoming students from all walks of life. I hope each of them can look back in 10 or 15 years and see me as a small stepping stone in their own success story.

Partners is thrilled that Becky chose to spend her year of service here in Steamboat Springs.  Becky said she is beyond excited to try the outdoorsy, small town life outside of the Midwest in Colorado this year. She likes to spend as much time as she can outside, hiking and biking, traveling, thrifting, and spending time with friends and family. Becky’s spirit of  positivity and her energy is infectious, and Partners feels so lucky to have her as one of our School-Based Mentors this year!