Camille grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland, not far from Kelly Miller Middle School. A Black Student Fund scholar, Camille graduated from Muhlenberg College with a degree in political science. The mentor assigned to Camille by the Black Scholar Fund helped her, as just a first grader, transition to a private school and adapt to her new community, without shunning her old neighborhood. “I see myself as a bridge for my students too,” she says. “I want them to see that it doesn’t always have to be difficult; it doesn’t always have to be what it is.” Camille intends to go to graduate school eventually to pursue a PhD in political theory, but before that, she plans continue her work in schools by becoming a teacher. “This year, I’m starting to understand where I belong, in terms of social justice work – where I can be helpful and where I can be impactful.” 

Something really important for a mentor is perseverance and determination and recognizing that not everything goes as you expected, especially with a middle schooler. You can’t be a mentor without passion and love for your students. And leadership, which to me means listening to your students and doing what they need.

It’s hard not to talk to the students like adults, because some of the things that they bring to me are very adult-like issues… There’s a student who has talked to me about thinking that she’s pregnant. I’m not sure how to talk to a child about being pregnant.