Mentors, no more

As September rolls in, the entire GC community will say farewell to the former name for college student volunteers placed in high school classrooms. Acting on feedback from college leaders that “Mentor” wasn’t reflective of what their volunteers did, the GC staff came up with a list of potential names that would encapsulate the volunteers’ dedication to students, classroom role, and professional development. Then, the GC staff asked our pool of 100+ Mentors from the semester for additional ideas. After narrowing down the list as a staff and speaking to other college leaders who felt strongly to get their input, they had several more meetings to finalize the list. In the end, it boiled down to four choices and the staff reached out to board members, teachers, school administrators, college leaders and Mentors again for their vote. A final group of staff and college leaders decided by consensus on the final pick.

After months of deliberation, we’ve chosen the name Democracy Coach because the most stirring message lies behind those two words. As a college student volunteer, the name seemed to evoke to me how we guide our students to be lifelong active participants in society. The name will demonstrate the “democratic” style of teaching we implement in the classroom, and, ultimately, evoke Generation Citizen’s greatest mission: to strengthen the nation’s democracy. Democracy Coach spells out how we bring in diverse opinions at every level to maximize participation and reach consensus.

Why else were we thrilled by the newest addition to the GC lingo? Hint hint hint… think of the abbreviation… something strike you as the home of the White House? As the site established by the Constitution to serve as the nation’s capital? The home of the brave?

Enough said. Usher in the D.C.’s!

~Erica Rigby, GC Chapter Executive Director, Tufts University

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