I am sitting in front of my computer trying to figure out how to write this next column. It’s not that I don’t know what to write about, it’s just that today I was brought to tears – not by anything bad – but by a simple gesture, but I will tell you about that later.
You see, a few months ago I signed up to become a mentor for the Bay City Independent School district. This is something that I wanted to try because when I was in high school I didn’t really have any mentors. And now as an adult, I’ve had my share of good mentors – so I thought to myself, “Why can’t I do that for someone at the high school level?”
So off I went to sign the paper work and got my background check. A few weeks later I got a phone call telling me I was assigned a mentee. Went to the school, spoke to the counselor and then I was introduced to her. I will not speak about her because I want to respect her privacy.
The requirement to be a mentor is to meet with the student once a week and talk. Being a reporter, it was a bit difficult for me to sit and listen because I am so used to asking questions. Every time I meet someone new, I am interested and want to know more. So with her, I had to hold back and I knew that if I was patient the answers to my questions (that I had in my mind) would be answered.
And once I met her, we clicked and I was so happy for that! I have to admit, I was afraid at our first encounter, but it was an amazing experience. Since our first meeting, she and I have been meeting at different locations throughout the high school. Last week I asked her if she wanted to eat lunch with me and she agreed. So I brought some food to the school and we ate at the cafeteria. I met her friends and we talked and walked for a bit around school.
At the end of our meeting, she walked me back to the student services. Our meetings always end with, “see you next week…” today, I told her that and she gave me a hug.
Since I met her I have been keeping my distance, mostly because I want to be a good mentor and I want to set a good example. Today I felt accepted. I felt like being a mentor is one of the best decisions I have ever made. My hope is that I can be there for her and help her with school work or give her any career advice.
Mentoring takes dedication, patience and the drive to want to do this. I know I have been a mentor for a short time, but each time I leave the school I feel a sense of fulfillment and felt very rewarding. I feel that I am not only mentoring her, but she is also helping me become a better person.
So today, as I walked to my car, a tear rolled down my face. I was not sad, I was happy for I know that everything is going to be OK.
If you are in Bay City and interested in mentoring, contact the Bay City Independent School district and be a part of the mentoring program. Call them at (979) 245-1604
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