A Mentor's Experience
As I was walking my dog around my neighborhood, I ran into a neighbor that explained to me that she knew of a young lady that was in need of a mentor. My neighbor has a second chance house where women who are homeless can get out of the shelter and transition into regular housing. She had one woman in particular with a 14 year old daughter that was very shy. The young girl, named Tionna, would go to school but spend most of her time with her mother, not going out and kind of scared to try new things. My neighbor asked me to take her under my wing and show her more than just school and sheltered life with her mother.
I found a day to go and meet Tionna and her mother. She was very shy and nervous, but interested in being able to go new places and experience new things. The first place that I took her was out to eat to a seafood restaurant. I took her there so that I can talk to her peacefully, without her mother or my neighbor over talking us. She opened up more and told me her dreams and goals. I learned that she wanted to be a singer and actress. Not one to crush dreams, I told her to follow her dreams – but also experience new things.
New things may create new dreams and desires. I didn’t have much time with Tionna, she and her mother found housing in Sacramento a few months after I met them. By then, I had taken Tionna out to eat, hiking, boot camp, museums, and a few other places. She opened up more to me and I had a great time. Turns out, for my first time being a mentor, I didn’t do that bad. Tionna still calls me to tell me about what she does and how things are going in her life. Her mother has threatened me about visiting them in Sacramento. They really enjoyed me being a part of their lives, and I enjoyed them.
Although Tionna and her mother have moved away, I will continue to stay in contact with them. Tionna was my first mentee, but is not my last. I now have three more teenage girls that would like me to mentor them here in Oakland, and a young man and a young lady in New York that email me with questions about going into STEM. I realize there is a need for mentors in the STEM program, so I developed a meetup group to encourage professionals to come together and give back simply by explaining their work. The idea is that – if we can make it simple with what we do, more youth would be interested in going into these fields.
I may have mentored Tionna, but she also mentored me.
Our young clients can expect to receive mentorship support from centered individuals who are committed to providing experience based guidence and heartfelt empathy. Our mentors have one thing in mind and that is to help young people to believe in themselves and become sucessful in lifes pursuits.