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When Shana first joined RAMP in Vermont, she was an incredibly shy young lady trying to navigate her way through high school. Due to conflicts happening between her family members at home, as well as her personal struggles with a learning disability, Shana had very low self-esteem and remained withdrawn in social situations. As a new member of the program, she felt uncomfortable with the degree of social interaction, and chose to isolate herself during weekly sessions.
After Shana was matched with her mentor, her outlook on the program changed rapidly. They shared numerous interests and personality traits, which led to an instant connection. Shana worked with her mentor to determine that she is interested in becoming a mechanic, due to her love of cars. Over the course of the year, her self-confidence flourished and she became highly engaged with RAMP.
Shana joined RAMP for a second year and participated in the weekly activities with gusto. She decided that she wanted a leadership role in the program, so she created her own role as Field Trip Coordinator for RAMP mentees. She serves as a communication hub, plans with her peers for transportation, and is always the first to reach out to both RAMP staff and other mentees in regards to last minute changes. She invites other mentees to stay overnight at her house if necessary in order for them to participate.
As part of her career exploration, Shana shadowed at a local daycare facility. She found that she was a natural in working in that setting, and liked it more than she expected. The children loved her, and the staff were so impressed that they asked whether she could continue to come and serve in an intern-type role. As a result, she is reconsidering her career path and thinks she may prefer working in day care.
Shana’s growth in RAMP has been inspiring and exemplary. The leadership that she exhibits in her second year with the program could not be farther from the isolation of her first few months. Shana is learning more about her own potential with each passing week, and it is exciting to watch her blossom.
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