Nov 18th, 2015

The Importance of Mentors

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”

– Sir Isaac Newton

Thanksgiving is a special holiday where, unlike many other holidays, we are expected not to give gifts, but to give thanks. As a High Point University senior and pre-dental student, there are a few special people who I would like to take the time to thank for their influence during my time in college, academically and personally! Mentors matter, and here are a few that have changed and defined my four years at HPU, and my future:







Carli & me at NCMOM in Winston-Salem, NC

Carli Antor, HPU ‘12 – When meeting with Eric Melniczek in the Office of Career and Professional Development at the beginning of my sophomore year, we were editing my LinkedIn profile when he connected me with Carli. Through her, I have gained insightful knowledge on all things dental school. She has been an invaluable resource to the world of dental school. As an HPU alumna, she has taken the same path that I am taking, and offers her honest and true opinion, even when it’s critical. I am thankful for this connection. She continues to be a perfect resource for me as a pre-dental student, and I love visiting her at Chapel Hill, where she is currently in dental school. There is a pre-dental society there called Bridging the Gap that I have participated in for for the past three years. Although my “big” in this society is actually a friend from my high school back home, it is nice having so many dental connections at such a critical stage in my life.







Me and Summer in Pittsburgh
Summer and me in Pittsburgh

Summer Glick, HPU ‘14 – When I met Summer as a freshman, I was so amazed when she came to my table at the activities fair and wanted to join my club, even though she was a well-established junior in college. She became my first “big sister” away from home, and I ended up spending a lot of time with her. I was in awe that she wanted to hang out with someone younger, and I really took that to heart when she left. She taught me that it’s not weird to be friends with freshmen, and even more than just “okay” – it’s normal and cool! In turn, I made sure to befriend various freshmen as an upperclassman. I hope that I can act as a mentor to these students as Summer did to me. She is currently living in Portland, Oregon, but is originally from Pittsburgh (three hours from my hometown of Buffalo, NY), so I was able to see her over this past summer (she travels a LOT!) I am so lucky to have had the pleasure of getting to know her and experiencing her traveling second-hand, as she has taught me so much about different cultures. However, I am most thankful to her for modeling to me how to be a genuine, nice person. My parents met her only once, but still continue to rave about her. My dad still brings up how much he loved when she said, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile.” I truly miss her, and despite the distance and time we have spent apart, she is one of those friends who you can see after a while and pick up right where you left off. I hope she knows I am so proud and thankful for her, and I hope I get to see her soon.


Preston Davis is the Minister to the University
Preston Davis is the Minister to the University

Preston Davis, Minister to the University – Reverend Davis was officially installed during my junior year. One of my goals over the past few years was to strengthen my faith and go back to church. I decided at the beginning of my junior year that I was going to try to attend as many chapel services, held on Wednesday nights at 5:30 p.m. at our campus Chapel, as possible. Hearing him speak over the first couple weeks was amazing. His ministry definitely called me back to the church, and I attribute that to a couple of things. Firstly, his age. I know it sounds pretty silly, but the fact that he is a younger reverend is really appealing, especially on a college campus. Preston is super relatable and has fresh, new ideas. His “cool” and “young” factor inspired me to believe that I can be religious, too, and strengthen my faith in God. He always responds to emails, and is very approachable and friendly. We even have a class here at the university where you can get credit for attending Chapel and participating in online discussions.






I hope that whether you end up at High Point University or somewhere else for college, you can find similar important mentors like I did during my years at HPU. Like in the song “For Good” from the Broadway musical, Wicked, people come into our lives for a reason, and because of them, we have been changed. The writers go on to say, “So much of me is made of what I learned from you.” These people, along with so many others, have left handprints on my heart. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason, and it was part of the higher, unknown plan for my life that I was supposed to meet these people.

We say that at High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people – from your admissions counselor and you success coach, to your big sister in your sorority and your professor, caring people truly are around every corner!


Unknown-2Kara Benkovich, ’16

Admissions Marketing Intern