On October 9th, College Summit Alumni and longtime PeerForward Volunteer Jamie Enge became Jamie L. Enge, Ph.D. Jamie received his Ph.D. in Counseling, which is a fitting degree for a man as passionate about helping and uplifting others as he is. Year after year, he comes back to PeerForward as a Volunteer to pour into our Peer Leaders and make them feel seen. For over half a decade, Jamie has served as the Director of College Coaching at our summer Workshops. In a conversation with Jamie at our Nazareth Workshop last year, he discussed his experience at his College Summit Workshop and how his PeerForward family has impacted him:
As an Alumni of College Summit, can you tell us a bit about your Workshop experience?
I did my workshop in 2004 at Illinois Wesleyan. In the beginning, I did not like it. I didn’t feel seen at all. That was until I met Ms. Freda Richmond. She served as my Writing Coach. She asked me “why do you matter?” I will never forget that moment. That’s a question that I lead with, with a lot of different students. A lot of times for young people, my younger self included, they will combat that question by answering with why they don’t matter. Right? With that question, she led me to why I matter. I think that was super important. As a teenager, I could give you every reason why I didn’t matter and why my future didn’t matter because of the things that I was dealing with. She reminded me of why I mattered. That was the most impactful moment of my workshop. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I was meant to be at that Workshop in 2004 and I was meant to be with Freda Richmond in that writing session.
Was there ever a time when you were positively influenced by a peer?
Yes, Derek Canty. He was my peer, not in age, but in position as a Coach and RAP Director. As time progressed, he not only became my PeerForward trainer, but a father figure as well. He is the one that got me here. The coaching, the teaching, the tough love, the joy, and the celebration that he has brought to my life shaped me. I would not be the person that I am today without Derek Canty.