One of our mentors and her student have been meeting weekly during the school year over the past 14 months. She’s seen her student grow from a teen with little-to-no emotional responses to important events in her life to a smiling, funny young lady who also feels safe to share these events that have shaped who she is. Both the mentor and student feel each time they meet, it is one of the highlights of their week.

The mentor feels this relationship is a give-give opportunity. She’s benefited from knowing this student as well. Even with the student’s family enduring the trials of job loss, losing their home, and health issues over the past couple years, they still volunteer to make blankets for the homeless and help others in any way they can. Hearing her family’s story inspires our mentor to dig deeper and to pursue opportunities to help fill the needs in our community.

This mentor has also learned an important lesson: Introducing yourself upon first meeting your students doesn’t guarantee they’ll remember your name, regardless of the fact that you are meeting on a consistent basis. The students are trying to figure out what type of person you are and what this mentoring is all about. Eventually, when a student feels their mentor is genuinely interested in them and what they are thinking, feeling, and experiencing, he or she is grateful for it. Our mentor received a thank-you card last week from her student. Here’s a quote from the card: “Thanks for everything. You’re an awesome person. Sorry if I forget your name. I have a bad memory. But thanks again for everything.”