Ask Sr. Sally: Why Be a Mentor for Cobbler 2 Cobbler?

As freshmen consider what they want to be involved in for the rest of high school, should they consider stepping into the role of mentor? If you have a question for Sally, let us know.
Q: Why do upperclassmen do Cobbler 2 Cobbler?
A: The upperclassmen that participate in C2C genuinely want to help the freshmen.

For those of you who don’t know, Cobbler 2 Cobbler (C2C) is a peer mentoring program that was started by now retired counselor, Tim McGowan. It was created when a surge of teen suicides left teachers and administrators wondering what they could do to prevent these awful tragedies from happening. Although peer mentoring has always been present at Central, it wasn’t until the fall of 2008 that the name Cobbler 2 Cobbler was pinned and the school started to see results. Central High School has not lost a student to suicide since the year 2011.senior-sally

When I was a freshman we got to meet with the Cobbler 2 Cobbler mentors, which consisted of eligible juniors and seniors, and we participated in several group activities that had an underlying life lesson. We played all sorts of fun games, from being blindfolded and led across the stage by a trustworthy (hopefully) partner, to trying to get as many people as we could through a jump rope at a time. Starting out as a freshman it was really easy to assume that the upperclassmen hated you.  With Central being as big as it is and having as many students as it does, it was also pretty easy to feel like you blended into the crowd. C2C really helped me and some of my classmates feel like we mattered to the school. When upperclassmen remembered our names, said hello to us in the hallways, and asked us questions about our lives, it made it much easier to feel connected to the school.

C2C really helped me and some of my classmates feel like we mattered to the school.

As a junior I became a mentor for the C2C program, which was also the last year we had Tim McGowan as the program’s leader. It was completely optional for us to sign up for the class, but you did have to get a few letters of recommendation from your current teachers, confirming that you would be a good mentor to the freshmen. From the very start, Tim (he hated when we called him Mr. McGowan) emphasized that we were there to help guide the freshmen into becoming good students and developing healthy relationships with their peers and family members. It was always a really special moment when you could finally get through to a student who didn’t think they needed help or who didn’t think that they’d have fun if they participated in the activities.

As upperclassman it was simply rewarding to help the freshmen. Even though we seem put together, we seniors can feel lost too. When we participate in these mentor programs we feel like we owe it to the freshmen to be better people, mostly because we know they’re watching us so closely and often mirror our actions. We take pride in being role models for Central and genuinely feel better about ourselves when we can help. Cobbler 2 Cobbler not only makes freshmen feel more at home, but in turn makes the upperclassmen feel like we’re making a difference. As a former mentor, I highly suggest signing up for the class as a junior so you can help feel more connected to the school, because as we always say, Once a Cobbler, Always a Cobbler!


Artwork by Sydney Bitz