Doing Life Together

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Rachel Eccles
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During my fall semester at community college in 2017, I was ecstatic to find out I was a recipient of a Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education! A key component of becoming a Pearson Scholar is the priceless relationship formed with a mentor. I believe the mentor program is a unique chance to have a person who went through similar situations there to help you in any way possible, almost like your own personal cheerleader.

Jumping in

I met my mentor, Kaitlyn Banaszynski, through a phone call and immediately felt a connection with her because we both used to play soccer. We did not go through a strictly formal phase, but instead jumped into a casual, supportive dynamic while following the springboard topics we are assigned monthly to discuss. When asked about the mentor program, Kaitlyn said she thoroughly enjoys being the in-between for a giant learning company and individuals like me who are trying to get the most out of their education. The program allows for everyone involved to connect with new people and build their own personal network which is a part of the program we both appreciate.

Gaining confidence

I am now at Middle Tennessee State University which is three hours away from my hometown. The transition has been hard not seeing my parents every day, but having the support of Kaitlyn has been so helpful. She has helped me gain more confidence in my new environment and explore the opportunities on my campus. My end goal is to become a pharmacist and Kaitlyn has already helped me create a connection with a pharmacist she knows personally. Since she has experienced what I am currently going through, our meetings are super flexible due to my schedule with midterms, exams, and assignments. She has made herself extremely available to me, urging me to text her whenever I have any questions, no matter how small.

Help from Pearson Prep

Through my midterms this semester, Kaitlyn suggested a study tool called Pearson Prep. The app contains pre-made flashcards for the course you are taking, but I believe the best part about it is that you can scan in your notes and create auto-flashcards from your professor. This allows me to save time from making them and allows me to begin studying sooner. As I work through the cards, the app will keep track of my progress and separate the cards that I need to continue reviewing.

I’m looking forward to building this relationship further over the next year and going past what the scholarship requires into just doing life together. She is what I have always looked for in a mentor and I have been thankful for all her guidance and wisdom. I am super fortunate to be a part of this program and being placed with a mentor who is as excited about education as I am!


Rachel is a junior studying chemistry at Middle Tennessee State University. She is involved with the Pharmacy Club and other Pre-Health related clubs on campus. Rachel also enjoys intramural volleyball and soccer, as well as spending time with her friends. Rachel is a 2017 recipient of the Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education.

This is Rachel’s second contribution to the Pearson Students Blog. If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click hereto pitch your idea and get started!

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