Paying It Forward

Princeton sprint football captain Adrian Colarusso (lime green shirt) prepares an acappella group for a performance at X-Mester.

Back in June, during the NCAA Outdoor Championships, was kind of… distracted. We had packed up for a first-of-its-kind, three-week college readiness program at Vincennes University where we’d have oversight of 115 at-risk high school juniors and 13 Fellows ready to advise, mentor and instruct them.

In those dog-tired days upon my return, I posted a note explaining our absence because the entire experience was much more demanding than I’d thought. You see, I thought I might have time in the morning or evening to sip some coffee and digest the news of the day and keep content flowing here.

I was wrong… Really wrong. By the third day, I had blisters on both feet from running around campus. It was all hands on deck, all the time. There was no manual to prepare for the issues we’d confront and resolve. I thought that less than a week into the experience, the Fellows had grown to hate us because it was far more intense than they’d expected.

But just today, the NCAA published a story about X-Mester. And given time to reflect, it is pretty clear that the Fellowship was impactful. Said Princeton wide receiver Trey Peacock, “At times you felt like giving up. You were tired, and things weren’t going perfectly. But it forced you to adapt. It was really rewarding. I’d say it’s probably the best thing I’ve done, program or job-wise, in my life so far.”

Wow! And the good news is, as the overseers of X-Mester, we learned so much that will help the next cohort of Fellows. Yeah, we will be doing it again. So if you are ready for a wild ride with a big payoff, start preparing now!

One Response to “Paying It Forward”

  1. Greg Page says:

    Brett, much thanks for keeping up the site during the (alleged) off-season. I appreciate being kept informed of Heps-related events and people.