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University of Michigan Student Reminisces about his Experience in the Winning Futures Program

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Travon Jefferson (top left)

Cass Technical High School graduate, Travon Jefferson, has been doing really well since participating in the Winning Futures mentoring program. “After graduating in 2012, I enrolled at the University of Michigan as a full-time student and have made several academic and social accomplishments. From getting into the School of Education my junior year, to holding multiple leadership positions in prominent organizations on campus, I am proud of how far I have come academically. The lessons I learned during the Winning Futures program helped me get this far.

My experience in Winning Futures is one that I will never forget. I enjoyed meeting with my mentor, Ron Dickerson, every week and learning about goal setting and planning for my future. Ron was great! He was one of the first young, educated black men that I had ever met, being mentored by him gave me hope for my own future success. Ron taught me a lot about how to be successful in college and the professional world.

I currently have a mentee who is a freshman here at U of M. Mentoring him has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but my experience with Winning Futures showed me the importance of mentoring. Knowing that Ron would have never given up on me, although I was quite difficult back then, encourages me to never give up on my mentee. When we first met, I had my mentee write a five-year plan, like the one I made in Winning Futures. I often think back to the activities we did in the program and how I can use them now with my mentee and in my own life. Winning Futures helped prepare me for my own success and gave me the tools and confidence I need to be a great mentor.” – Travon Jefferson