Interview with Katie Baun, Founder of Level Up Tutoring and Mentoring

EM: Can you share your perspective on the role of mentorship in academic success?

Katie Braun

Katie: Often, students’ academic struggles are intertwined with issues like negative self-talk and organizational skills. Combining tutoring and mentoring addresses these interconnected challenges simultaneously.

EM: How do you define the difference between tutoring and mentoring, especially in an academic context?

Katie: Tutors handle specific subjects, while mentors work on broader aspects like self-esteem and goal setting. At LevelUp, we bridge the gap, addressing both academic and personal development.

EM: What led you to combine tutoring and mentoring services?

Katie: The pandemic revealed the impact on students’ social-emotional growth. Facing a shortage of mental health professionals, mentoring provides a safe space to address the skills crucial for success.

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EM: Can you provide examples of how mentorship has positively impacted the academic journeys of your students?

Katie: Success stories include students overcoming negative thought patterns, achieving better grades, and gaining confidence. Each milestone is a unique achievement.
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EM: How do you tailor your mentorship approach to meet the unique needs of each student?

Katie: We customize mentorship plans based on individual goals, focusing on resilience, thought patterns, goal-setting, or organization, creating a personalized experience.

EM: In your experience, what qualities make a successful mentor, particularly in the academic realm?


Katie: Essential qualities include experience in an academic setting, familiarity with learning platforms, empathy, patience, and maintaining healthy boundaries.

EM: Could you share a memorable success story where your mentorship played a key role in a student’s achievements?

Katie: Success is seen in progress, whether it’s shifting negative thought patterns or improving grades. Attending students’ graduations and celebratory events adds to the fulfillment.

EM: How do you balance the academic support aspect of tutoring with the broader guidance through mentoring?

Katie: It’s a seamless integration, allowing students to benefit from both academic support and broader guidance in their personal development.

EM: What challenges do you often encounter in mentorship, and how do you address them?

Katie: Apathy and lack of motivation are common challenges, but they present opportunities to tailor the mentorship and reignite motivation.

EM : How do you stay updated on educational trends and incorporate them into your mentoring approach?

Katie: As a full-time high school teacher, I stay informed and continuously learn. Book studies and staying engaged with educational trends help enhance my mentoring toolbox.

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