This year the Oakland Catholic community began our Fiat Mentorship program. "Fiat" originates from Latin "Let" and is often used in reference of Mary's yes to God when she said: "Let it be done according to thy word" Luke 1:39. The mentorship program was designed to reflect that "yes" through a "Yes" from 16 senior leaders who chose to mentor groups of 7-9 freshman students throughout the course of the year... a "Yes" from the freshmen class to entering into and embracing the Oakland Catholic community... and finally a "Yes" from the entire Oakland Catholic community to welcome in our new sisters to our school as they become involved in faith, academic, service and athletic opportunities.
Our 16 senior leaders went through a rigorous interview process and training to prepare them to serve their freshmen mentees over the course of 3 quarters. These young women assisted during freshman orientation, met in small groups every two weeks, lead the Freshman class retreat and continuously prayed for their mentees beginning in August when they first received a list of names of girls they would be mentoring. Faculty and staff from all departments actively supported the development of this program through involvement in the interview process, developing the curriculum during senior mentor training and their flexibility and assistance in the organization of all events and retreats.
Freshmen benefited from the wisdom and joy of their senior mentors by discussing topics from school life balance to service involvement to social media to self care to the importance of prayer and faith. Mentors could check in on their mentees and put them in contact with other students who were involved in activities they wanted to learn more about, teachers who could assist in areas where they needed support and simply be a guiding voice through the transition into high school. Each senior mentor was also given the autonomy to run her small group with her own skills and talents bringing in fun ice breakers or crafts or reflection questions to help the groups build community and lead into deeper conversation.
The 2018-2019 Fiat program concluded with a Fiat Freshman Fun day of family feud, ice cream and Freshman superlatives. As the Class of 2022 wraps up their freshman year, we pray that these lessons influence their own unique leadership and mentorship of the new students of the future to follow in the example of Mary and her Yes to God!