Why Not You?

Marjorie Yergen, 1995 Science Awardee from Washington, currently serves as her state’s PAEMST coordinator. Below, she shares what it means to her to pay it forward after receiving the PAEMST award.

Tagged: Alumni Article

The Academic Year 2023–2024 Kindergarten through sixth grade cycle of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is underway! Applications to the National Science Foundation (NSF) are due February 6th, 2024. Our K–6 colleagues need YOU! They need you to nominate them for the award, they need your encouragement, but most of all, they need your mentorship! 

Remember the excitement you felt when you were nominated to receive the Presidential Award? The trepidation you felt as you were preparing your application, wondering if you were on the right track? Maybe you were fortunate enough to find someone to help you – a colleague, a friend, maybe even a past winner. Maybe you were given a mentor to help guide and encourage you. Well, why not you? 

Mentoring is extremely rewarding. It gives you the opportunity to ‘pay it forward’. You get to assist another person in their journey to become a Presidential Award Finalist, and possibly an Awardee! As a mentor, your role is to guide, support, and become the encourager of your mentee, answering their questions and helping them on their way to completion. Statistics by the NSF show that the most successful candidates have had mentors! 

Some mentees have specific questions about their writing. You should remind them to give evidence for specific claims they make, and make sure they are giving attention to all of the application questions in the prompts. Your guidance is critical to helping the applicant complete a solid application. Remember, you always have your State Coordinator or PAEMST to fall back on if there is a question you are not sure of. As a mentor, you are not alone either. 

So, WHY NOT YOU? Reach out to your State Coordinator or PAEMST to become a mentor today! Imagine the joy you’ll feel as your mentee becomes a State Finalist, or even the next award winner. Come on, join the mentor pool and pay it forward today!