Opportunity Scholar Stories

Mentorship at WSOS

By Tori Campbell

“My safe space is school now… When I started, I was terrified because I wasn’t sure if I would fit.” — JoAnna, Opportunity Scholar

This is a very common thought among Opportunity Scholars, and we work to ensure our programs address Scholars’ fears before they graduate and enter the workforce.

WSOS supports Opportunity Scholars so they can focus on building their career. Mentors are a vital part of that work. Skills that Shine mentors help Scholars build career readiness skills so they can feel secure in their transition from college to career.

This is why mentorship is so important. Mentors build relationships with Scholars and help them find their pathway to their chosen careers.

Adam Gloss smiling for a photo

“I have volunteered for a lot of different organizations over the years, and by far, WSOS has been the most impactful experience. I get to work directly with people and see the direct impact of our work. To be even a small part of their achievements is incredibly fulfilling.

I have helped college students improve their networking skills to get an internship at a tech company. I have helped others returning to the workforce see more of the options that are laid out in front of them. While they do all the work, it is deeply gratifying to know that I helped.”

— Adam Gloss, Skills that Shine mentor

How can you impact the next generation of leaders in Washington state?

Madelynn, Opportunity Scholar, wearing her cap and gown at her graduation.

“I can’t recommend the Skills That Shine program enough. I gained so much from having a mentor provided to me by WSOS.

I think collectively, I needed guidance to navigate my education and my future. Being a first-generation college student (now graduate), it feels like you have to figure everything out alone and usually, that means not having a clue where to start. WSOS provided a place to start, and I am a success story because of their guidance and support.”

— Madelynn, Opportunity Scholar

Scholar standing in front of a cityscape

“My experience with WSOS was exceptional. Not only was the financial support fundamental in helping me get through college, but so were their professional development resources such as the Skills that Shine Mentorship Program which helped me by exposing me to crucial career development skills.

The Skills that Shine Mentorship Program was very helpful because I was able to speak to professionals in a comfortable setting and gather their advice on interviews, internships, networking, etc.

— Alex, Opportunity Scholar

What you need to know about being a WSOS mentor

Since its inception, WSOS has matched thousands of Opportunity Scholars with mentors. We have repeatedly heard from Scholars that their mentors guide and enhance their career readiness skills, ensuring a smooth transition from college to career. In fact, 91% of Scholars who participated in the mentorship program, told us they feel more prepared to seek relevant work thanks to the program. By becoming a mentor, industry professionals can play an essential role in supporting Scholars in their career development journey. 

A headshot of Douglas Lepar
Douglas Lepar, WSOS Mentor, Director of Operations Program Management at Microsoft

“I’ve been so impressed and humbled by the [students] I have seen who, thanks to this incredible program, have managed to juggle all those things while still thriving, growing, and engaging,

Douglas Lepar, Skills that Shine mentor, Director of Operations Program Management, Microsoft

We provide training

Each mentor and mentee pairing receives guides with units to aid your discussions!

Below is a snippet from one of the units.

Opportunity Scholars Jonathan, Dylan, & Nancy walking down a city street
Jonathan, Dylan, & Nancy, Opportunity Scholars