Sunday, February 16, 2014

Mentoring Means The World

I mentor two elementary students in two different mentoring programs. With one program I mentor bi-weekly during lunch and with the other program I mentor once a week. I have established a connection with both children as this is my second year mentoring them both. I get the best of both worlds because I mentor a 6th grade boy and a 4th grade girl. 
With the 4th grade girl, whose name and photo I will not post on here for privacy reasons, I have bonded more. I have watched her perform in a Christmas play, I see her once a week, I get her Christmas and birthday gifts, I go to her birthday parties and I talk to her mom on a weekly basis. In addition, she has a twin sister and a younger brother (who all share the same birthday, yes even the younger brother)! 

If I bring her a surprise I try to keep it balanced by bringing enough for all three of them or bring them the same thing. I do bring her a little extra or something a little different, after all, she is my mentee! 

So today I got to celebrate her 10th birthday with her family. The party was at this really cool place called Monkey Joe's. If you haven't heard of this extremely impressive fun zone you should definitely check it out, especially if you have children. It is quite inexpensive and full of inflatables for the children to jump on for hours.

The picture to the left is the gifts I got all three of them. They each got 1) a DIY coloring travel mug, 2) a jump rope, 3) a bottle of bubbles, and 4) a pair of crazy straws.  I got my mentee something a little extra though. She has been wanting Pokemon cards, and to be specific, Lugia. Now, with the expertise of my amazing boyfriend I found out he (Lugia) is a second generation and it was almost impossible to find him in a set of cards at Target, but Nick did it! He found a tin box set with Lugia as the cover and in the cards! She said, multiple times, that it was her best birthday ever! She thanked me several times for coming and greeted me and Nick with a big bear hug when we got there and when we left. Did I mention she is only 10-year-old? She is so amazing to be a 10-year-old. She is one of the sweetest kids and so well-behaved. 

With all of that said, mentoring has made such an impact on my life. It has made me realize that, whether I believe it or not, I am a HUGE influence in their lives. I set examples and I see both of their faces light up when they see me. Not only is mentoring great for the heart and soul, but it has direct correlation between the child's attitudes, grades and future in general. 

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