Pre-Collegiate Mentor Mark Spidell
June 14, 2009
After a long day at work, most people would go home to relax; however, for Mark Spidell, a commercial lending advisor at U.S. Bank, the day doesn’t just revolve around his work. On top of his full work load, he is a pre-collegiate mentor for the Roaring Fork School District Re-1.
Mark Spidell was born in Greeley, Colo., and moved throughout his childhood from Kansas City to a small town in Oklahoma. He finally moved back to Colorado to finish his high school career. He then moved on to the University of Denver, where he received his degree in business and marketing.
After his schooling, he moved to Chicago, Ill., to work for a consulting company. Spidell eventually made his way back to Colorado, but didn’t move to Glenwood Springs until 2006. He then started his career at U.S. Bank.
One of his friends, who is also involved with this program, introduced Spidell to the pre-collegiate program. As a pre-collegiate mentor, he helps high school students prepare for college. The students in this program are students whose parents have not received a college education or went to college in a different country.
“I help high school seniors prepare for college by working with them on applying to college, getting scholarships, writing essays, and even interviewing for college,” Spidell said.
All of the mentors in this program help each student with everything that goes into preparing for college.
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Spidell also helps prepare the students for the challenges they will face when they are in college.
“I tell them personal stories about my experience in college,” Spidell said. “We also have discussions about good ways to study and how to be successful when they get there.”
As a mentor, Spidell works every week, but some weeks are more work than others. Last year, all of his students started school and five of them went to four-year schools.
With Spidell’s help, a few of his students, such as Glenwood Springs High School alumni Lance Tsosie and Danny Guzman, received full-ride scholarships to college.
“The most important thing about Mark is that he is someone there to give you advice and to help you on your way to college,” Guzman, a student at Mesa State College, said.
Spidell helped Guzman two to three times a week and, in the end, helped him receive his full-ride scholarship.
“He helped me with scholarships, essays, and just everything to prepare for college,” Guzman said. “The best way to describe him is ‘helpful.'”
Spidell is helpful to students, but he also gains different experiences from this program. He has been able to gain better understanding of different groups in Glenwood and also how diverse Glenwood Springs is.
According to Spidell, the experience gained from college is important and is something everyone should go through.
“You get to know who your true self is and get real-life experience,” Spidell said.
Spidell is still helping students to have the chance of the true experience of college.