Mentor-Mentee Spotlight: Baileigh & Suzanne
Mentoring can change lives. Learning Life’s mentoring program is different from a typical mentoring program in two ways. First, we mentor Learning Life’s kids wherever their families live in the world. Second, our mentors, all based in the United States, focus on opening our kids to the world through conversation, discussing videos, articles, photos or other content, and in Washington DC, where our mentors can meet face-to-face with their local mentees, through visits to museums, libraries, embassies, cultural festivals, foreign restaurants and other venues. Suzanne Lachelier has been mentoring Baileigh Walker since May 2018. Learn more about each of them below. Learn more about our mentoring program here.
Where were you born and where have you lived so far?
I was born in Washington DC, and have lived in DC all my life.
Where do you go to school, and what grade are you in?
I go to school at Friendship Chamberlain Elementary School. I am in third grade.
What is/are your favorite subject(s) in school?
My favorite subject in school is math.
What are your hobbies?
I like to watch Youtube videos about slime and squishy stuff. I also like to dance.
What do you like about your mentor?
She’s nice and she teaches me a whole bunch of things.
What has been your favorite experience so far with your mentor?
I like going to Miss Suzanne’s house to explore the world using maps and phones.
Mentor: Suzanne Lachelier
Where were you born and raised?
I was born on Long Island in New York, and was raised in France until I was 16, when my family moved to Connecticut.
What’s your current and/or past line of work?
I am an attorney, and specialize in criminal defense litigation.
I run, do yoga, and cycle. I also try to take one good overseas trip every year or two.
Why did you choose to volunteer with Learning Life?
I liked the idea of mentoring a child, and especially having a chance to share my interest in foreign countries, languages and cultures.
What do you like about your mentee?
Baileigh has so much personality for an eight-year old, and she is very outgoing. I enjoy how her willingness to talk to anyone contrasts with my relative shyness when we hang out around town.
What’s one rewarding experience you’ve had thus far with your mentee, and what made it rewarding?
It’s genuinely difficult to pick just one, so I’ll give two. First, we went to a Hirshhorn Museum (in Washington DC) exhibit recently that involved using technology. Baileigh independently remembered a National Geographic Museum virtual reality exhibit we had seen at least six months earlier, and articulated why she liked the latter better. It was gratifying to know she not only remembered and retained the earlier experience, but also had thoughts about what she liked regarding the two exhibits.
Second, recently as we walked into an exhibit about Senegalese women and gold jewelry at the Smithsonian African Art Museum in Washington DC, I asked her rotely “what’s the capital of Sénégal?” Baileigh answered equally rotely, correctly, and with a perfect French accent, “Dakar,” and kept walking through like she’d known the answer since she was born. It was funny to me at least, as our very first day together in May 2018, we had focused on Senegal and worked on memorizing the capital.