Pendle Hill Pledge Mentorship Program equips students for success

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It is a tumultuous and uncertain time for many students when they begin to think about life after graduation.

A multitude of fears, not the least of which being the unknown, can make the next chapter one that is approached with trepidation and hesitancy. 

At Malone, the Pendle Hill Mentorship Program seeks to help alleviate these fears and make the next steps of students a little less uncertain. 

This has been the case for Seneca Ransom ‘23, a communication arts major with minors in political science and marketing, who was assigned Rachel Jenkins ‘16, who studied philosophy, political science, and history, as a mentor. 

Ransom, as she reached the latter half of her college journey, began to think more about the future. Scott Waalkes, professor of international politics, director of general education, and co-director of the Pendle Hill Pledge, was integral to Ransom’s calling discernment. 

“Dr. Waalkes talked a lot about the importance of career calling and vocation, and that was something I was really thinking about as I entered into my junior year,” said Ransom. “I’m a planner, and so the idea of having someone to help me settle on post-graduation plans who had gone through this process before was a welcome idea.”

Jenkins’ past experience and heart for service was a perfect match for the mentorship program.

“This is something that I love doing. It has been a passion of mine to help young students whose shoes I remember being in - feeling uncertain about the future - and so I love to share the things I learned, and I want to help people grow,” said Jenkins. “Mentorship was a key piece for me at Malone, and even now in my professional life because we never stop growing and learning.”

Jenkins, who until recently was the legislative director for Congressman Tim Ryan and is now a Senior Associate Director for Federal Relations at the American Hospital Association, was able to share her experience and expertise through the program; a chance that she says is invaluable. 

“I loved sharing things that I’ve learned to help someone navigate the crazy world we’re in, because if you don’t know how to navigate a place like DC or a job like mine then it can be very overwhelming,” said Jenkins. “That can keep a lot of good people from taking a risk with an internship or job, the same people who would love and excel in this field. I want to help great people like Seneca succeed here.”

Ransom, who has been able to study in DC, now feels more equipped as she makes decisions about her future. 

“The whole program gave me such insight. It’s worth its weight in gold. I know a lot of people who aren’t sure what they want to do after graduation, so this relationship was so vital in helping me know where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do,” said Ransom. “It really helped me realize how attainable things are. Having Rachel to lean on and ask questions made me feel better prepared for graduation and what I want to be doing with my future. That’s all because Rachel shared experiences, gave me advice, and helped me develop confidence. Barriers due to inexperience are so overwhelming, so when you have someone that has crossed that barrier to assist you it changes the whole process.” 

Jenkins, too, benefitted from the program as a mentor. 

“This program reinstalled this passion that I have for helping others,” said Jenkins. “It has been important to me to show that people are perfectly capable of doing things that they’re scared of. It was awesome to see Seneca’s growth from start to finish.”

Seneca, now better equipped for the challenges of tomorrow, hopes people continue to take advantage of the Pendle Hill Mentorship Program.

“I really hope my younger peers take advantage of this program sometime before they graduate. It's something everyone should do before they graduate. I learned so much and had a wonderful experience. I’m going to try and convince all of my friends that they should definitely do it.”