Over two weekends in April 2020 during the COVID-19 experience of social distancing, I was privileged to be among four panelists who conducted virtual interviews for scholarships with a total of nine (9) graduating L.A.M.P. Mentor Program mentees.

This was a completely exhilarating experience. Each of the students came to the virtual meeting properly dressed as one would expect of someone who was about to be interviewed in a professional setting.

Amazingly in the entire interview session with each student, the lighting and background setting was just right and resulted in no distraction to the interviewing panel as each student received each question and provided very thoughtful answers to the panel.

There were many positive takeaways from the interviews from my perspective and I am certain that my fellow colleagues on the panel felt the same way. Here are a few of my takeaways:

  • Each student arrived on time for their appointment
  • Each student presented himself in the desired professional manner that is integral to L.A.M.P. Mentor Program (properly attired, excellent presentation skills, etc.)
  • There were eight primary questions… some of them were multi-part questions which required the student to retain the essence of the question while formulating thoughtful answer(s) to each question.
  • Some answers prompted follow up questions from the Archon who asked the original question… and to a person, each student handled the follow up questions quite well.
  • No student rambled on aimlessly with his answer to any question… though the student had not seen or heard any of the questions prior to the interview, they each handled questions very well and provided thoughtful and mature answers
  • Each student expressed just how much L.A.M.P. contributed to the person that they are today… they all expressed (in their own words) how they have matured during their tenure with L.A.M.P.
  • Each student recognized his role in the larger community as a Young Black Man along with his obligation to be a role model for other Young Black Men in the future.
  • All of the students had a plan for the next phase of his life and was focused on executing his plan with clarity of thought and commitment

Each panelist was free to score each student’s interview as he perceived and processed the answers. It was remarkably amazing to see that there was minimal variation of scores from each panelist on each question for each interviewee… our students were simply prepared and were impressive.

I conclude this article by encouraging one and all to continue to invest in the L.A.M.P. Mentor Program’s students (time and other resources) because the evidence of the benefits of such investments are quite clear and will pay dividends in their life’s journey.