NEW FRANKLIN, Ohio — In celebration of National Mentoring Month, and #ThankYourMentorDay, WKYC is looking at the difference mentors have made in all our lives.

There’s a need for mentors, and each of us can work together to ensure positive outcomes for young people. This national campaign has celebrated mentoring and the effect it can have on young lives.

When I was young, I was interested in everything. My curiosity still knows no bounds. By seventh grade, I had determined I loved to write. And my reading teacher, Scott Ross, helped put me on a path I’m still walking today. He introduced me to journalism.

Scott Ross is a lifer in the Manchester School district. After his own days as a standout athlete and student, he’s devoted his 26-year career to education. To say thank you, I went back to visit. He’s now Manchester High School’s Assistant Principal.

“I think I just made a call to arrange for [Sara] to shadow a reporter and you took the ball and ran with it,” he said.

“I actually think about that moment a lot, that day,” I told him. “It really solidified that this was something I was interested in and wanted to continue to explore.” 

After that shadow experience at the Akron Beacon Journal, together, we started a newspaper at Manchester Middle School, The Read and the Black.

Ross had saved a scrapbook I put together back then with all the issues inside. He added to it, as students continued the effort for years to come.

As an educator, Ross is in a unique position to impact the lives of his students. But he believes there are ways we can all mentor.

“I think it’s just being aware of who might be looking up to you in some capacity,” he said. “If you can find that avenue to reach them to show them something they don’t know exists, and just crack open the door a little bit, it’s amazing how they will do the rest.”

To learn more about mentoring, click here.