NOVEMBER FEATURE STORY: Sibling Mentors
Having a sibling attend the same school as you is already special, having them also participating in the same activities is even more special. This is a reality that My Phuong Tong 14’ and her sister, Ai Phuong Tong 15’ as well as Jack Nivison 14’ and his older sister, Lauren Nivison 11’ have enjoyed with Colby Cares About Kids.
My Phuong, a Biology Major concentrating in Cell and Molecular Biology, and Ai Phuong, a Physics and Biology Neuroscience major, have both been mentoring since their freshman spring. My Phuong said she told her younger sister about CCAK when she first arrived at Colby. “However, I cannot take credit for getting her started. I think she came to that decision on her own. Although I would like to think I planted the seed.” It currently seems My Phuong just did that. Ai Phuong wanted to get involved in CCAK because she wanted to create the same impact that her sister as well as other students was having on their mentees. While they do not mentor at the same school, they do share ideas about how to advise and bond with their respective mentees. They even make things for their mentees together. “It has been great experiencing similar [activities] with someone so close to me,” My Phuong said.
Aside from CCAK, My Phuong is also the co-chair for Relay for Life, leads the Inland Hospital Program, and is the president of Student Health on Campus. Ai Phuong also participates in Student Health on Campus and Relay for Life with her sister and is on the Student Programming Board and is involved with Active Minds.
Jack, a Government and English Major concentrating in Creative Writing, and Lauren, also a Government major, have a bigger age gap than My Phuong and Ai Phuong. Therefore, Jack and Lauren only overlapped at Colby for a year and never got the opportunity to mentor together or meet each other’s mentees. However, Lauren still had the opportunity to influence Jack with both CCAK and other aspects of Colby. “I don’t think I would have been a Government major had she not suggested me to take a class in the department. At CCAK, she told me to be as patient as possible with my mentee, which is something I definitely have taken to heart,” Jack said. And Lauren enjoyed being able to give Jack her advice and share her Colby experience with her brother for a year.
When Jack is not mentoring, he is coaching freshman boy’s basketball at Winslow High School, working as a student supervisor in Miller Library, and working as Senior Admissions Intern. Lauren also worked at the circulation desk in Miller.
On left: Jack Nivison, ’14 with his mentee Julien . On right: Ai Phuong Tong, ’15 with her mentee Renee