For Immediate Release
January 9, 2013

Contact: Erin Hathaway
(603) 225-6612, ext. 346
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I am College Bound Rewards Mentors Role in Student Success

Concord, NH - The holiday season brings a reminder that there is no better time to say thank you to those important to you. This year a handful of unsuspecting adults received an even bigger surprise. Through a monthly contest held for NH students on the college planning website,, local high school students were asked to share a one-minute video about mentors in their lives. The winning videos were rewarded with the mentor receiving a new iPad mini. The response from NH’s high school students was wonderful.

One-minute videos were submitted on YouTube from students across the state, thanking their mothers, fathers, teachers, community group leaders, athletic coaches and more. Every story touched on how the adult had guided a student through life, offering support and insight into how to work harder, achieve goals, overcome struggles and pursue dreams, most importantly education beyond high school.

Five lucky mentors featured in the videos were sent a letter thanking them for their role in that student’s life and informing them they had been chosen as a winner. Winner Joseph Benham, a local athletic coach and physical education teacher submitted by student Yvonne Bartoszak, responded to the news, "Considering my professional background and her professional interest, I assumed that Yvonne would seek as much insight from me as she could. I always saw her as a strong and confident student. I did not realize that I had a role in developing that confidence until she pointed it out. I believe my role was to point her in the right direction, giving her encouragement throughout the process. Hearing her say that the experiences she had in my class have had a significant and positive impact on her life and career, is the best compliment I can get as a teacher." Kitty, Education and Outreach Counselor for New Beginnings was recognized by local student, Chelsea Colby, touched by her organization, "This is such an honor and really comes as a surprise. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the impact my mentors have had on my life, but not much at all thinking of myself as someone else’s mentor. I love working with youth because they continually remind me that we are moving toward social change- it is inspiring. I am truly moved to see how I have inspired them, too." The three other winners included the mother of Somersworth High School student Brodey Lajoie, father of Plymouth High School student, Colin O’Brien and mother of Manchester Central High School student Jennie Tay.

Every month, a new promotion on the website, engages local NH high school students to learn more about the college planning process. The website was developed through the College Access Challenge Grant, awarded to The NHHEAF Network Organizations’ Center for College Planning by the U.S. Department of Education and locally administered by the NH Department of Education. The grant is geared towards increasing college access to underrepresented students throughout the state. To view the winning mentor video submissions visit