Mentor relationship aren’t just made, they’re cultivated through shared experiences, earned trust and genuine care. We always appreciate the compassion and patience our Mentors show towards their developing mentor relationships, as it makes all the difference in showing our kids that each one of them is important and unique.
Below is a first hand account of how a Mentor and her Mentee relationship blossomed between everyday activities and consistent care. Meet Ana and Pearl.
Ana: Working as a mentor through Family Care Network has been one of my greatest accomplishments. I have been a mentor for about six months now and I love working with my mentees. I knew going into this that I would be working with a child or a teen within my community but I could have never imagined the impact these kids would have on me.
Every mentee is different as is every mentor. I have worked with two mentees from different age groups. Each of my mentees was different in many aspects but each had a common goal and that was to forget about their daily routine and enjoy our time together. As each mentee is different so are the activities we do together. Some of the activities that I have done with my mentees are going to the movies, walking on the beach, playing sports, going out for coffee or ice cream. My older mentee loves everything girly and fun, and most of the time we end up just talking and giggling. I believe this has made my mentee enjoy our time together that much more because my mentee feels comfortable and free to enjoy her time with me. And she knows I am there for her whenever she needs a friend to talk to. The bond we have built together has taken time to build but it has been an awesome opportunity to have someone be able to feel free with you and look forward to spending time with you.
Although this may seem like everything is easy, we all have experiences with our mentees that test us. These are the situations that make us analyze what we can do in order to help our mentees overcome a certain battle. We might want to give up or become frustrated, but this is when we must step back and analyze what we can do in order to become a better mentor.
Mentoring can be difficult at times but I strongly believe that the good moments will always outweigh the challenging. You get the chance to have an impact on a child's life, and that is something nothing else can compare to. You get to give a child or youth joy and happiness, and the bond you build is something they will always cherish. You get to have someone look up to you and see you as something more than an obligation--nothing beats that amazing feeling!
Pearl: Ana has been part of my life for about six months now. At first, she was my tutor and now she is my mentor. When she was my tutor, she really helped me in Spanish. Ana often comes to my team meetings to support me and to give input, which I really appreciate. Ana is an emotional support to me and when I have problems she is good to talk to. Ana and I meet up about once a month to hang out. Her personality is really fun. We love to go shopping, and hang out and talk. Lately, we’ve gone out to the movies, participated in (and won) a pumpkin carving contest--which was probably my favorite thing we’ve done together--and we like to hang out and talk at Starbucks. We’ve also gone to get our nails done, which was fun. We just like to go out and do fun things in the community. Ana brings joy into my life, and is fun to be around.
We hope you’re as inspired by the hope and care these mentors bring into the lives of their mentees as we are. Mentoring truly makes a difference in our community! If you would like to make a lasting impact on the lives of children and youth through mentoring, please call Kelly at (805) 781-3535 or visit our website at FCNI.org.