In medical school, setting time aside for anything outside of studies can be a challenge. But fourth-year College of Medicine student John Pascoe found the time to make a difference in the life of a child.
On Jan. 27, Pascoe received the "Dream Maker” award, an honor from the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative (CYC) for his nearly four years of outstanding mentorship to the same mentee, Sativa Smith, 12, from a single-parent household in Cincinnati.
Pascoe was among 15 mentors —out of 1,700—recognized at the organization’s annual "Thank Your Mentor” dinner and awards presentation in celebration of National Mentoring Month.
Three of the 15 were identified as "Dream Makers”.
"I don’t need the recognition; I was just doing what anyone else would do for a child in need,” Pascoe says humbly, explaining how he first got involved with CYC through UC Med Mentors, a College of Medicine organization that pairs medical students with Cincinnati Public Schools children.
What Pascoe did, however, was more than just what "anyone” else would do.
Yes, there were trips to the zoo and the aquarium, but there were also extended study sessions at the library—and Pascoe worked with the family, the school system and his peers to see that his mentee was getting the basics necessary for a child to thrive.
"Mentoring is all about relationships; that really is the bottom line, and John has shared a really rewarding friendship with a mentee who needed a male role model,” says CYC’s Mentor Coordinator Jo Henderson.
More than 125 of CYC’s mentors are UC Med Mentors, which enrolls about 50 medical students in CYC with each incoming class, says Med Mentors Director Wan Lim, PhD, an adjunct associate professor in the department of medical education.
Since medical students are reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses—with funding provided by the Charles H. Dater Foundation, the Rue Foundation and the Medical Students’ Association—Lim says she could see how much time Pascoe spent with his mentee by the paperwork he submitted.
"He’s just been very consistent in his commitment and has done a tremendous amount for the child,” says Lim.
The kudos are appreciated but appear to be lost on Pascoe:
"I’m going into pediatrics, so I enjoy working with kids,” he says, adding that he also likes knowing that he is making a difference in his mentee’s life.
To learn more about the UC Med Mentors program or to make a donation, call (513) 558-7659 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.