Dr. Demetriss Locke knows firsthand the power of mentoring. He credits his mentor, Dr. Frances Kochan, a professor at Auburn University, for helping him succeed with his educational goals. “She played a pivotal role in my development as a doctoral student,” said Dr. Locke.
Today, following in Dr. Kochan’s footsteps, Dr. Locke mentors with Take Stock in Children’s Gadsden, Leon, Wakulla program helping to guide a young teenager, Jakari Moore, to graduate from high school and go on to college. “Mentoring is the key to success for many students, especially those from low socio-economic backgrounds.”
As the Assistant Director of Florida A&M University’s Undergraduate Student Success Center, Dr. Locke was the perfect role model for his mentee. On the job, Dr. Locke provides freshmen and sophomore students with academic advising, career counseling, and financial aid counseling, as well as transfer and transition services. As a mentor, Dr. Locke uses his work experience to help Jakari succeed in school establishing short- and long-term goals.
Jakari’s short-term goals were simple: Earn as many As and Bs as possible; register for college-preparatory and advanced level classes; get involved in clubs and organizations; successfully complete all graduation requirements; and get into college.
Dr. Locke says he can remember when he knew his visits and talks with Jakari were making a difference. “I knew I was changing Jakari’s trajectory [by setting high expectations] based on his academic progress and level of maturity, which have increased over the years.”
Thanks to hard work and his mentor, Jakari will graduate high school in a couple of weeks and attend Florida State College Jacksonville in the fall. Dr. Locke plans to be there for him to ensure Jakari successfully graduates college and enters the workforce.
“Mentoring is all about caring enough for someone to help them with whatever they need to propel them to the next step(s) in life,” Dr. Locke said. “The mentoring relationships will continue for Jakari and I with new goals and objectives to be met.”