MENTOR STORIES

Mentor: Xiaoteng Huang

My name is Xiaoteng Huang. I became a mentor for C-CAMP when it was still called FCC during my sophomore year at Cornell. During high school, I participated in various mentoring/tutoring groups and really enjoyed the experience, so when I came to Cornell, I decided to continue this experience. FCC first caught my attention through their recruiting emails. I looked into what FCC was all about and became really interested in the program. I came from China in fourth grade, and since then I never lost my interest in the Chinese culture and language, so I felt that I had a lot to offer to FCC.
I applied to the program and was paired with a 10-year boy named Guanghua. Guanghua was adopted from China when he was really young. His mother wanted to find a mentor to teach him about the Chinese culture and language, but more importantly, to act as a friend and his role model. I felt that I successfully accomplished this role. When I first met him, I really tried to know him better and find out what his interests were. Being a mentor, I think the most important thing is to establish a trust and good relationship with the mentee. When Guanghua and I meet every weekend, we always try to do things that we both are interested in. Guanghua enjoys outdoor activities, so when the weather is nice, we go hiking a couple times in various parks around Ithaca. 
Like most kids, Guanghua likes to play video games, so a few times we played Nintendo games in my dorm room. Guanghua is also starting to learn the piano and the drums, so in the next couple weeks, I plan to take him to Cornell’s music department and teach him a little about these instruments. On top of these fun activities, I also taught him a little Chinese. Whatever we do, I always try to make sure that he enjoys it. It’s really rewarding for me to see the friendship grow between me and him, and this definitely has been one of my favorite experiences at Cornell.

Mentor: Haejin Hwang

My name is Haejin Hwang and I’m a senior majoring in Government. When I first heard about C-CAMP’s unique and valuable mission of creating friendships between Cornell students and adopted kids from around the Ithaca area, I immediately signed up. I was eventually paired with Aydan, an awesome, bright, and really energetic adopted Korean 6-year old boy, whom I could mentor, tutor, and talk to. While we haven’t quite started tutor sessions, we try to meet every week to play games, explore Cornell libraries (he loves the “Harry Potter” Andrew D. White Library), talk, eat small treats, go to fun performances at Cornell like the Absolute Zero Break Dance showcase, Breakfree Hip Hop Crew, and Yamatai Taiko Drumming concert. We've gone up to the clock tower to hear the chimes and help play music as well as explore the Johnson Museum of Art and sit on the big bench (picture to the left)!
Recently, we’ve met up with Aydan’s older brother, Alex, a brilliant adopted Korean, and his mentor, Christina, to play fun activities and cook traditional Korean food like ddukbboki (a popular spicy Korean dish). Although Aydan and I have only known each other for one year, I hope to help him explore his Korean heritage and at the same time build a long-lasting friendship. 
I hope to be his friend who he can rely on and won’t forget.

 

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