Amanda Bellerose

Mentoring Program for Youth Survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Amanda Bellerose

"I was inspired to do this research because there are many mentoring programs in the United States and a lot of research has been conducted on various mentoring relationships, but very little with survivors of TBI," says Amanda. With funding from a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), Amanda implemented a mentoring program between a youth and an adult survivor at SteppingStones, a community-based rehabilitation facility. Over the course of two months, the pair met for four hours each week.

"The experience was wonderful. The mentor and the mentee developed a wonderful friendship," Amanda explains. "I observed changes and improvements in both the mentor and the mentee, and they both expressed their happiness in the relationship. I was also able to gain valuable insight into the research process, and gain leadership skills in implementing and carrying forth a new program."

According to her faculty mentor, Dr. Michael Frass, "Amanda's project has helped to pave the way for a much needed program in the Seacoast area that provides resources and support to children with acquired brain injury to help them face their ongoing challenges." The mother of the child Amanda worked with was also very appreciative of the program, saying, "It is an awesome place. Everybody understands that everybody is going through the same thing."

Amanda's research would not have been possible without the generous donation made by the Class of 1959. "As Amanda's advisor for this project, and as an advisor for several other SURF funded students, I would like to express my gratitude to the Class of 1959 and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program for their generosity in making available these awards for scholarly collaboration," says Frass. "It provides a wonderful learning experience for both faculty and student alike."