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Karlee Roberts Encourages, Welcomes, and Open to Suggestions

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of profiles of 2014 Work Study Supervisor of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 17.

As the work study supervisor for 40 peer mentors working in the D.R.I.V.E. program at Keuka College, Karlee Roberts is a wonderful role model, according to junior Jenna Bird, who nominated Roberts for the Work Study Supervisor of the Year award.

Bird, a D.R.I.V.E. peer mentor and unified childhood education major, said that Roberts makes the peer mentors feel like a part of the D.R.I.V.E. staff.

“Mentors have the opportunity to work one-on-one with students, and observe the staff members’ interactions with the students,” said Bird, a Batavia resident. “Karlee trusts us to work one-on-one with students, and that we will be able to handle different situations based on previous knowledge and training we have received.”

According to Bird, Roberts encourages the peer mentors to use their academic background in several ways, such as welcoming students to complete volunteer hours or a Field Period™ with the D.R.I.V.E. program.

“Karlee welcomes the peer mentors to apply the knowledge we have learned in our classes to situations with the D.R.I.V.E. students,” said Bird. “As an education major, I appreciate Karlee allowing us to use information we have learned in the classroom in real life situations.”

Bird said Roberts also places the peer mentors in different environments, so they have the chance to gain new knowledge from the experience.

“She is always open to new suggestions as to how to handle different situations with the D.R.I.V.E. students,” said Bird, “including how to help a student with their Keuka College classes. She is always in contact with us, either just to check in, or discuss any problems that may occur. She is always available if we have an issue and will meet with us to provide suggestions and advice.”

In addition, Roberts started a Mentor of the Month program. Each month, a mentor is nominated either by another peer mentor or a member of the D.R.I.V.E. staff.

“The Mentor of the Month program has been a great motivator for the peer mentors, and reassures us that we are doing a good job,” said Bird.“There is nothing Karlee won’t do to make sure her peer mentors are successful. She truly cares about all 40 of us, and she goes above and beyond to provide us with a positive and friendly work environment.”


Kayla Garrow is a ‘Natural Leader’ as a D.R.I.V.E. Program Peer Mentor

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of profiles of 2014 Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 17.

While the classic board game Scrabble may not be the first tool used to help students read and write, it is the perfect choice for some of the students in the D.R.I.V.E. program.

According to Karlee Roberts, peer mentor supervisor of the D.R.I.V.E. program, games like Scrabble are favorite tools for sophomore Kayla Garrow, a peer mentor for the D.R.I.V.E. program.

“Kayla loves to use games to help students work on words in our Wilson Class, which teaches reading and writing,” said Roberts, who nominated the occupational science major from Niagara Falls for the Student Employee of the Year Award. “She comes up with ideas to use in the classroom, and has been known to do a project at home and then bring it to class and teach the students how to do it.”

Roberts says the D.R.I.V.E. peer mentors work hard.

“They go to Keuka College classes with our students, help them with homework, and participate in our life skills classes,” she said. “They attend night and weekend activities with our students, and help them with socialization at lunch time. Some of our students are challenging, and it can take a lot of coaxing to get them to start work.”

But Roberts says Garrow has “this wonderful ability to find out why they are upset, or not wanting to work. Once she does, she can bring them around and make them feel better and ready to face the day. Not everyone can do this.”

It is because of Garrow’s ability to ‘bring them around’ that “teachers always request her for their classes because of how wonderful she is,” said Roberts. “She doesn’t need any direction from the classroom teachers, and independently identifies the needs of our students. Kayla knows what to do and does it well.”

Added Roberts: “Kayla is a natural leader who is focused on her job, and it is evident every day that she loves her job. She has an amazingly positive attitude, is reliable, professional, and serves as an excellent role model for our students, and for the other mentors in the program.”