Above and Beyond

My biggest source of encouragement always comes from the adults that volunteer for our mentoring program. Time and again I am blown away by their love, dedication, and initiative. Over the last few months, there have been many instances of mentors who are working on something on their own time to meet a need of the child they work with. This has ranged from scouring their church community to find beds and furniture, helping out with laundry, providing school supplies, and purchasing Christmas presents for the entire family – just to name a few.

One such example is the mentor of one of our 10-year-old boys, Jose. Jose is in the third grade after being held back and is also behind in reading. On his own time his mentor has begun creating fun activities for them to do together on Monday nights that work on his reading skills. Not only do the activities challenge his reading but Michael, his mentor, also creates lessons that teach life skills. At the start of the New Year Michael had each of them discuss and write out their goals. He then had them summarize the goals on a piece of paper the size of a credit card and sign their name below. He plans on keeping their goals in his wallet and going back over them each Monday with Jose for accountability and encouragement.

Michael is not just volunteering to mentor Jose for one hour per week. He deeply cares about who Jose is today and who Jose can be ten years from now. I am blown away by his investment in Jose and his commitment to his future. I ask my mentors to come for an hour and time and time again they show up in huge ways to impact who the kids are and will be.

– Tyler Lemmons

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