Meet Our Mentors: Xavier Esters

Xavier Esters, a North Grand '20 mentor, is now a few months in to his second year of mentoring Javier, a senior with high hopes of going to college next year. We asked Xavier about his first year of mentoring and how he plans to assist his mentee on his path to college. Check out his responses below.

In what ways did you support Javier through the college process?

Javier and I worked through his final college list, personal essay, and resume so he could apply to jobs too. We also developed a project plan and mapped out college fairs and open houses to attend.

Senior year is very task-oriented and a pivot from some of the more intense relationship building of junior year. What have you done to continue building your relationship with Javier on a more personal level?

Javier and I have committed to more frequent in-person pair expeditions and even had our first lunch time Facetime session. While we talk about school and college readiness, a large part of our conversations and expeditions are focused on having fun, catching up, and getting to know each other. Having a personal bond really helps build vulnerability and has allowed us to dig deeper and have transparent conversations about school, work, and his college plans.

At iMentor we often talk about meeting students where they are at. Could you give an example of a time when you did that with Javier?

My mentee and I hit a bump in the road during the summer. We had a great initial pair expedition as he was wrapping up school and committed to having regular expeditions while he was on break. Then communication ceased. Despite reaching out a few times, I didn't get a response and was a bit worried I'd lost the connection. Fortunately, as school ramped back up, my mentee reached out and was very open and honest about why he stepped away and needed to pause the relationship. It was a reminder that these relationships 1) take real work, 2) require the mentee to drive the relationship to some extent, and 3) call for both parties to be truly committed to making it work.

What do you do to keep each other accountable within your relationship?

Before the summer break, Javier and I committed to engaging in consistent messaging, completing all the lessons on time, and having pair expeditions on a regular basis. However, we know things change. So, if one of us must make an adjustment to our schedules or is unable to attend the in person iMentor pair events, we immediately focus on identifying a new date and time to meet. This is incredibly helpful to keep us on track.

In what ways have you shared your mentor experience with friends and colleagues?

Given that I work at Facebook, I communicate the need for mentors and talk about the program on the platform. I also referred one of my best friends to mentor so we're able to compare notes and serve as support for one another as we go through the program. I also try to include iMentor in conversations at work and with friends, so they understand the importance of the program and the relationship with my mentee. My boss and friends know that I prioritize my involvement despite my schedule, and they really work to support the commitment as well.