First name of mentee: Antonio
Program/ agency: Youth Villages
Years serving as mentor: 1
Why became a mentor: I want to become a foster parent one day and I thought that mentoring would be a good experience and teach me the skills necessary in caring for a future foster child. As well, I have always been involved in volunteering and believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to give back to the community to help the next generation.
Memorable experience with mentee: The most memorable and rewarding experience so far is the development of a friendship bond with my mentee. He really appreciates how this “total stranger” spends his time caring for and being an advocate for him. For me it is really nice to watch the relationship develop and to watch how my mentee’s thought and action patterns are changing for the better. I think he finds a great comfort in knowing that there is a person that he can always contact for advice and help and to talk to without fear of repercussions or judgment.
Advice/ insight to others interested in mentoring: The most important advice I can give to other mentors is to be patient!! Some of the kids have experienced some terrible things in their life and it will take them time to open up and trust you. It is important to never blame your mentee for their past experiences or even most of their behavior as they have been very affected by their upbringing and environment. Just be yourself and stay positive!