Post written by Susan McAvoy, Villa Pals mentor
All children and youth deserve to have an adult who shows them respect, empathy, and takes the time to listen to what they have to say. I became a mentor because I wanted to make a difference in a young person’s life. I was volunteering in the Villa’s Donation Center one summer when I learned of their mentoring program, and the timing was perfect!
My mentee and I met about eight months ago. As one might expect, our first few meetings were very awkward. He would not look at me and barely spoke to me. When I told him I was just there to be his friend, he began to open up. He is now laughing, looking me in the eye (which he would not do in the beginning) and talking about his family. Our relationship has strengthened his communication skills and has allowed him to trust someone that he didn’t know. One of my favorite memories with my mentee is when he laughed out loud around me for the first time. That’s when I could finally tell he was at ease.
The experience of being a mentor has blessed me way beyond what I ever thought it would. It brings out the “inner kid” in me. My mentee has realized that I am someone he can count on to be a consistent adult in his life.
Becoming a mentor that it is one of the best decisions that you can make for yourself and for the youth who may desperately need a positive role model in their life.
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JANUARY IS NATIONAL MENTORING MONTH
Click here to learn how you can change a child’s life through the Villa Pals mentoring program, or call our Villa Pals coordinator at 804-553-3211.