Being a Mentor has been a challenging undertaking for me. I thought my qualifications would ease me into the role without a hitch, but I was wrong. Just because I raised three sons as a single parent did not prepare me for a fourteen year old girl. When we met back in the Middle school in 2009 she was ecstatic about receiving a scholarship and had the grades to back her up. But she just needed to maintain her grades and also turn in her work timely.
For some of us this might seem like an easy task to accomplish but when you don’t have the tools or support, it can be overwhelming. On the positive side she has loving grandparents willing to raise her and her brother but in so many ways it is challenging for them. They had enforced a “strict code of behavior” and it had no free time with outside friends. For a teenager this became a sore spot and gradually the grades slid, the absences began along with tardiness. As her Mentor, I worried that I was not being strong enough or even being gullible believing her excuses. It seemed that with my own children I knew more or less, when they were not telling the truth yet with Sophia I just didn’t know and I could not even hint (that I thought) she was lying to me.
By the end of the school year she was on probation with the scholarship program pending their decision to drop or keep her. Sophia had a meeting with all of the faculty, teachers and the board and after much discussion they decided to keep her in the program but on probation until she shows an improved average in all of her classes.
She stated that she wanted me to continue as her Mentor and the board agreed and also appointed a co-mentor from the guidance department to assist me and Sophia. Yesterday was the second time I met with Sophia and she had her progress report. Her smile was from ear to ear as she handed it over to me and as my eyes glanced over the report I smiled at all the A’s and B’s. I was so happy to take her photo wearing her proud smile and I am so pleased that I didn’t give up on her. In my heart of hearts I feel she needs me as much as I need her and the rewards are priceless.
Current Mood: Happy
Where o where are the cool breezes of Fall? Are we ever going to don a sweater or wear jeans to keep a little warm. This seems like the longest stretch of hot humid air in years. Do you think (maybe like me) that the four seasons just might be a thing of the past?
It sure seems like it is getting warmer each year and for longer periods of time. Although it is brighter as far as the sunshine goes, the cost of the air-conditioning running day after day becomes expensive. All I really want is a hint of a breeze and no humidity, if only for a month or two.
Who knows maybe tomorrow on the first day of Fall, we might be surprised!
Current Mood: Playful
My stores have all stocked up on Pumpkins and costumes along with candy corn and large packages of treats. Yet it is difficult to plan forty-four days ahead when the present weather has blazing sun and 90 degrees plus temperatures. Folks here are flocking to the pools and beaches for the weekend especially for the warm Gulf waters to swim in.
According to the calendar, Fall arrives on the 21st of September just four days away. Gee I think that would be nice to hear a forecast of sunny skies with a high of seventy degrees.
I would be opening the windows for the fresh air and even shutting the air-conditioner off.
But only Mother nature can predict what will be. And so I await the outcome.
Have a great weekend and enjoy whatever your plans might be.
Current Mood: Playful
It has only been four months since I visited Sophia at her school and over the summer we had just a few emails and so nothing prepared me for how much she has changed. Sophia has become a young lady and has an incredible positive attitude and a beaming smile to match. She has been awarded a “Take Stock in Children” scholarship and in order to use it for college, she needs to maintain her grades and also become involved in volunteering and joining clubs.
Sophia and I (as her Mentor), have worked together for the past two years and I have witnessed first hand the awesome growth from a junior high student to a sophomore. She has overcome many obstacles and has also learned along the way, how to make the right decisions and choices for her. This effort has only added to my admiration and pride of Sophia.
My plan is to be around for her high school graduation, just a mere three years away. I know this will be a “shining moment for both of us and I also feel that this volunteer challenge is extremely rewarding to me. ”
You see I am a parent of three grown sons and so the opportunity to work with Sophia has given me the awesome flavor of having a daughter. Just how lucky can one get?
It gets me thinking about the very many ways we can help our youth and perhaps someone out there reading my blog will be inspired to check in their area and perhaps volunteer an hour or two.
Current Mood: Happy
This is going to be a great year for me volunteering at Marlowe Elementary I thought as I drove to the school this afternoon. Although it has been eight years since I have retired and started volunteering, it seems like only a short time ago. But, then I realize that when you are doing something you love, the time just flies by. And for me, it has become the perfect recipe for a fulfilling life style. The ingredients are the children that are young and curious and full of life and joy which in turn spills over onto me and it helps me help them learn words and numbers. After a few short weeks, they will be making sentences and then reading for the first time out loud. This always manages to jolt me back to yesteryear with a deja vu feeling when my sons were boys and just learning to read And so the perfect mix of patience-smiles-pats on the back and visits to the treasure box all create good students that enjoy learning listening and working with others.
My present class has twenty-one students and from a quick glance around the room it seems the boys outnumber the girls. As I chatted with a few and asked their ages, they answered with the number 6, but when I asked when their birthday was? Just a couple thought it might be ground-hog day but had no idea of the month or date. And so I gave each one a tiny assignment (which made them feel important) and told them to ask at home and report back to me next week. They seemed to like that idea and I felt like singing on my way home.
I am so happy for the new school year and hopefully I am not the only one with this feeling.
Current Mood: Happy