Monday, May 4, 2009

Volunteer Spotlight: Mike Kolberg

Though Mike Kolberg has only been with our program for a year, he’s been one of our most committed mentors. In fact, he was the only mentor to meet with his student, Savon Clark, regularly all summer long in our center. They met weekly to ensure that Savon entered his 8th grade year well-prepared for his challenging math coursework. Thanks to their dedication, Savon is now aiming for an A in math this quarter, which Mike is doing his best to help him achieve.

Over the past year, Mike has found working with Savon very rewarding. He’s glad that, thanks to the work they put in over the summer and their shared commitment to the mentoring relationship, they’ve been able to jump to addressing “higher level stuff” and don't have to worry about attendance or staying focused during their time together. Their usual coursework still includes a lot of math, but they also spend time working on Savon’s science homework. Luckily, Mike’s engineering degree from University of Illinois imparted him with all the knowledge he needs to be an excellent math and science tutor for Savon. However, despite his degree, Mike is not working as an engineer, but rather as a consultant for Zurich where he enjoys working with people, helping them manage risk at their companies, which he much prefers to sitting in front of a computer designing things as he would have done if he followed a more traditional engineering career path. When he’s not working, his favorite pastimes include watersports up at his favorite Wisconsin getaway, Pleasant Lake, where he boats and water skis.

We are so glad that Mike is happy with his involvement here at Cabrini Connections with Savon. In fact, Mike recently expressed how pleased he his to be volunteering someplace where “everyone is so involved and consistently dedicated to the program”. Additionally, in an effort to be a more effective mentor, Mike has reached out to Savon’s family and makes an effort to keep in contact with his father at least once a week after their tutoring sessions. He recently attended a dinner at Savon’s house where his father assembled all of the caring adults in Savon’s life and introduced them to one-another, so that they might be a more effective network of support for Savon as he enters high school next year. With Savon’s exceptional grades and dedication to the program so far as proof, it’s clear that Mike is doing an excellent job. Congratulations Mike and keep up the great work!

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