When she first came to The Ohio State University as a Young Scholar, Alexis Myers never thought of herself as someone who could be a role model or a mentor. Little did she know that at Ohio State, Alexis would become an Academic Success Partner within the Young Scholars Program. “When I came to Ohio State, I never thought of myself as someone who could be a role model or a mentor for anyone else, but when this opportunity came to me, I knew I needed to take advantage,” she said.
As an Academic Success Partner (ASP) with the Young Scholars Program, Alexis, like many of her fellow Young Scholars, is giving back to those who are following in her footsteps. ASPs are assigned approximately five to seven first-year students and assist those students in making the transition from high school to college, integrating into the campus community, and monitoring their academic progress. It’s an experience that really stands out for Alexis. “Being able to work with first-year scholars and seeing in them myself as a freshman just reminds me of all the growth I’ve found at Ohio State and of the major support system I have backing me in Office of Diversity and Inclusion.”
Her road to becoming a mentor to incoming YSP freshman began when Alexis was a student at Southside Upper Elementary School in Youngstown, Ohio. While in sixth grade, Alexis was inducted into the Young Scholars Program (YSP), where she was offered the chance to receive a college education. “Being a future Buckeye meant once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an education unmatched, and it meant being able to do it with minimal debt, which meant a lot to my family and me.” YSP gave Alexis the resources and knowledge that she needed to succeed in school, preparing her way to attending Ohio State.
In high school Alexis went to Youngstown Early College, where she prepared for the expectations of college, developing the skills, habits, and attitudes that have allowed her to become a successful student. “Because I attended an early college, the transition to the college environment was smoother than most, but the transition to harder classes and a more rigorous schedule still was something I wasn’t ready for immediately. Young Scholars gave me a lot of resources my first year, from the leadership course that taught me how to manage my time in more effective ways, to my success coach, Trina Phillips, who helped guide me through my first two years on campus.”
One of the first challenges Alexis faced on campus was not knowing how to properly prepare for a class or how to dig herself out of a hole when she started doing poorly. Once again, YSP was there to offer support and guidance. “Mrs. Trina really came through for me when I was failing Anthropology my freshman year and helped me to build a plan to pass. I was able to gain the confidence to get into office hours and talk to the professor about how to succeed in his class and on what was most challenging for me.” Being able to talk to her professor opened the door for Alexis to build relationships with other professors and helped her to realize that her professors really are her “best advocates.”
Alexis is currently a fourth year student who has one more year at Ohio State before graduating in Spring 2018 with a dual degree in English and Social Work and a minor in Creative Writing. When she first came to campus, Alexis knew that writing was her strongest skill and what she was most passionate about. She took a class in Ethnic Literature that had a focus on social justice, which sparked her interest in Social Work. A degree in Social Work also will give Alexis another way to give back: “My biggest drive in social work is to be able to get out of school and jump right into helping people in communities who have resources available to them that they need help finding.”
After graduation Alexis plans to attend graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh for its Master of Social Work with a Secondary Education Teaching Certificate combined program. Her plans after that? “Upon finishing my masters, I aim to work with Columbus City Schools as a Social Worker.”