Mentorship Matters

Author: Emari Craft, University of South Florida Black Leadership Network Scholar

January 25, 2021

My name is Emari Craft. I am from Lakeland, FL. I was a Florida Virtual School student until my senior year of high school. I graduated from Kathleen Senior High School in the top 2% of my class. I am a second-generation Bull. My mother graduated from the University of South Florida (USF) with her bachelor’s degree in 1992. 

I am currently a sophomore at USF. I am majoring in mass communications with a concentration in broadcast news. I became a Black Leadership Network (BLN) Scholar during the Fall 2020 semester. BLN pairs students together based on their major and year in college. I was paired with Rolynn Wilson, an upperclassman at USF. We have the same major, so she is able to give me a lot of helpful advice. My mentorship experience has been positive thanks to Rolynn. Being new to a university comes with its share of challenges. You often feel like you do not really know what you should be doing or who you can talk to. It’s nice to have a mentor that understands what I’m doing and trying to accomplish.

I follow Rolynn on social media. I have seen her post about her work in the broadcast news field. It’s encouraging to see another Black woman pursuing her dreams. It’s nice to know that my mentor has experience doing the things that I will be having to do in the near future. Having a mentor means I have someone that I know is going to be ready and willing to answer my questions. For example, I was trying to find a building on campus the other day. I sent Rolynn a quick text and she responded immediately. When I was registering for classes she gave me advice on what professors and classes I should take. Anytime I’ve ever had a question she’s been more than willing to help and offer advice. I’m thankful that BLN paired me with someone I can relate to and count on when I need help! 

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