This past year I worked with Corey Minchow, who did an incredible job on a very difficult project. Corey was responsible for obtaining and cleaning a nationally-available data set that is difficult to use. The data set is the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth that began data collection in 1997. We were particularly interested in high-risk behaviors and mental health issues as they relate to family functioning.
Corey has been involved in designing the direction of analysis and the identification of key variables. Because of his efforts at understanding the variables and the data set, we were able to identify important indicators for analysis. While I was there to steer Corey in the right direction, his initiative was important to the success of the project. As a mentor I can help point him in the direction of literature or teach him about statistics and analytical approaches, but what I can’t teach him is personal investment and initiative.