Russell Scholars Program

Gorham Middle School Partnership

Russell Scholars has had a strong relationship with Gorham Middle School for many years.  

Students may elect to be a mentor to a GMS student at any time in their college career, as a volunteer or for credit.  

These stories were written by Jolynn Martin, a first-year student in the Russell Scholars Program.



Josh Pelland’s inspiration to become a mentor comes from his belief that it will be a good experience in which both people can gain a new friend.  He’s happy to give advice to anyone who might be interested in mentoring. “If you’re considering it, you should do it. Why not try it, when there’s a chance you’ll enjoy it?”  When asked what he has learned and what he hopes to still achieve in this experience, he acknowledged the importance of spending time together as a way to relax, have fun, and work on communicating.  “I want him to have a time in his day to chill, learn new puzzles and games, and talk,” Josh said, and added that he’d really like to continue mentoring this same student next year.



Sakima Lee’s experience working with younger people made her want to be a GMS mentor.  “I wanted to make a difference,” she said. In high school, she was trained to work with younger children, which encouraged her to take this opportunity.  “Being a mentor will help me with my leadership skills,” Sakima noted, as she explained her goals for the mentoring relationship. She sees their bond as one that can serve the child through some experiences in life.  A follow-up question about how she and her mentee spend their time together made her smile. They play games, make arts and crafts, play basketball, and just walk around and talk. Beyond the fun they are having together now, Sakima thinks being a mentor can benefit her in the future.  “Being a mentor will help my career, personal and professional, when I need to encourage others and be a good team member,” she said. She added that she would love to mentor again next year!