As a mentor in the Enriched Support Program (ESP) at Carleton, Taylor Reid is now giving back to the program that she credits for helping her get accepted at Carleton and flourish in her BA degree.
As a second-year combined Anthropology and History student with a minor in Archaeology, Taylor is excelling in her courses.
“I love learning,” she admits with a smile. Yet, getting to this point was a challenge and ESP provided the pathway.
Ten years out of high school, Taylor applied to Carleton University but was initially not accepted. Her high school grades were low and being in the applied – rather than the academic – track hurt her application.
Shortly after she learned that her application was rejected, she received a letter in the mail from a program that she had never heard about. The ESP offered her a bridge to Carleton and Taylor gladly took it.
The ESP is a transition program for students who, like Taylor, face hurdles to being accepted into university. By enrolling in the full-time year-long program, ESP students are able to qualify for admission to Carleton while simultaneously earning university credits. Students take first-year courses while also attending weekly workshops that provide tips, knowledge, and practices to help them succeed in their studies.
Taylor recalls that when she began the ESP last year, “I didn’t have a lot of faith in myself. I was nervous about university classes. I didn’t know how to do an essay with proper citation, carry out research, etc.”
The ESP workshops and support helped her to “see that I am university material by just showing me the math equation that is university: keeping an agenda, having checklists, having relationships with a tutor or a coach, asking questions, signing up for extra lessons that can help me. All these small things help enormously.”
The program gave her confidence and the skills she needed to do well in her courses.
After successfully completing the program, Taylor was honoured when she was asked to be an ESP mentor. As a mentor, Taylor offers support to ESP students as they learn to navigate the university themselves. She advises ten mentees, meeting with them one-on-one and assisting them when they have questions or need help.
Her aim is to help them utilize the full array of ESP supports, so each of them can individually benefit from their Carleton experience as much as she has.
Taylor’s accomplishments have not gone without recognition. She is the inaugural winner of the Chicken and Boots Bursary, a financial award given to assist those who have experienced homelessness or are homeless while pursuing a university education. She also won the Jean and Richard Van Loon Spirit Award for her work in the ESP program.
Today, Taylor is thoroughly enjoying her academic programs and is thinking of pursuing an MA in Anthropology.
She always was fascinated by History, the program she had applied for at the beginning, while Anthropology was entirely new to her.
“I had no idea what Anthropology was,” she admits.
Her introductory Anthropology course showed her that the discipline offers students approaches that one can also find in Sociology, Psychology, and History, while also providing insights into cultural dynamics and everyday life for differently situated people.
“I am very street-wise and the ethnographies I read speak to me,” Taylor reflects, explaining that they provide insights into the challenges, struggles, and successes of those in a range of circumstances.
Taylor has had her fair share of challenges, but thanks to the ESP she is thriving at Carleton and proud to be giving back as a mentor.
You can learn more about the Enriched Support Program at Carleton by visiting carleton.ca/esp.
Original story courtesy of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology: https://carleton.ca/socanth/2022/highlighting-taylor-reid-anthropology-and-history-undergrad-and-the-enriched-support-program-esp
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