South Orangetown Central School District

The #SOCSDMentorMonday Facebook campaign highlights community members who directly mentor students on a sustained, voluntary basis through our schools. Through their dedicated volunteerism, mentors offer students meaningful opportunities to explore interests and career pathways–and to develop real world job skills.

Vanessa Lapins (TZHS, ‘79), Senior Executive Partner at Gartner, has volunteered as the lead software team mentor with Tappan Zee High School’s FIRST Robotics Competition team, SO BOTZ, since its rookie year, regularly donating more than 20 hours per week during competition season. “It gives me a chance to give back to the community and help grow the skills that we need in this next generation…and it’s a lot of fun!”

“Having a mentor who is at the top of her industry has enabled me to learn best practices and how they’re integrated in a team environment,” says software subteam lead Olivia S., a sophomore. “I plan to pursue a career in computer science and Vanessa pushes us. She’s always willing to help us work through problems, but never gives us the solutions. That’s how it is in real life and it helps us become problem-solvers.”

The #SOCSDMentorMonday campaign will extend throughout the spring. Interested in mentoring students in your field of expertise? Contact Family Engagement Center Coordinator AJ Walker at

Student with adult mentor and laptop