High school student builds support system for middle schoolers through Meaningful Mentors Club

Fayetteville-Manlius senior Taylor Ratliff is helping middle and high school students connect with and support each other. Taylor created Meaningful Mentors as a way to honor Mental Health Month in May. Through the club, high schoolers visit students at the middle schools to mentor them and build positive relationships. Meaningful Mentors Club connects high school and middle school students, offering advice and positive messages to younger classmates.

The goal is to create community and connection. High schoolers provide tips to understand and help calm anxiety, and help to prepare middle school students for entering high school in the years to come. 

“Staying positive doesn’t mean you have to be happy all of the time,” shared one high school Meaningful Mentor. “What it means is that even on hard days you know that better days are in store.”

“You never know what somebody is going through,” added another high school student. “It’s so easy to assume and just treat them based on how we perceive them, but a lot of things can, and usually are, happening under the surface. Be delicate and careful in how you choose your words!”

Students at the high school and middle schools are encouraged to take a message off of the wall whenever they need a reminder that they are an amazing and integral part of a community that cares about them!

Taylor has completed her Gold Award for Girl Scouts, which includes an 80-hour, volunteer based, sustainable project with The Meaningful Mentors Club.