Have you thought about being a mentor? Have you thought about giving your child a mentor? Here are a few words from someone who made the decision to become a mentor.
To whom it may concern:
Itís fitting I find myself writing a letter about my mentoring relationship with my ďLittleĒ around the holiday season. In fact, itís a welcomed opportunity for me to step back from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and reflect on something thatís much more important than buying and receiving gifts.
For a little over two years now Iíve been involved in the Big Brother Big Sisters program. Back in 2010 some changes took place in my life that allowed for extra time. Time I could put to use in ways I had wanted to for quite a while; however, never had the availability Ė things like coaching, volunteering, mentoring, etc. As youíve probably guessed one of those ways to make use of my time is my involvement with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
Every Tuesday I attend lunch at the Pinedale Elementary School to spend time with my ďLittle.Ē Thatís basically the requirement of my level of involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters at this juncture. However, when my Little has a Christmas concert, a football game or another event, if Iím available, I try my best to attend, as I know it brings a little bit of joy to him.
Mentoring certainly isnít all fun and games though. Like all of us, kids have their ups and downs. Iím sure if being a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters was all smiles more people would get involved. I donít show up every Tuesday because I expect nothing but laughs and smiles. I show up because I believe everyone can use positive interaction and communication in their lives.
I was fortunate growing up. I have parents who were strict but fair teaching me responsibility and accountability and at the same time brought, and still bring, happiness into my life. I have friends, past teachers and coaches who did and do the same. Iím a very lucky person Ė mostly because I have very good people in my life. Not everyone can say that.
The responsibility of mentoring certainly brings smiles, but it also brings confusion, challenges and a chance for growth Ė including growth for the mentor. There are days my Little is bummed out. I wonder if heís tired of seeing me. There are days he doesnít want to talk. I only want to help, but canít if I donít know whatís wrong, and at the same time donít want to push it too far with him. Most of the time, however, at the end of our session weíve opened up to one another. Weíve provided a comfort level for one another to talk about whatís going on in our lives and even without always saying so I know we both appreciate our time together. Iíve learned as a mentor that my Little often times provides me with opportunities to grow as a person as well. It seems that when I leave the elementary school on Tuesday afternoon I appreciate things a little more. Maybe heís more of a mentor than he knows.
I truly believe just those 45 minutes or so together once a week are good for both of us. In todayís fast-paced, technology-based world where social media and video games dominate our lives, itís nice to take 45 minutes to talk with someone and/or just enjoy their company. Knowing you can open up and communicate with another person and recognize they are there to listen to you and help you if need be is so important. As I said before, Iíve been fortunate to have people like that in my life. I hope my Little not only one day knows I want to be there for him, but also passes those sentiments on to others.
Many of us are so lucky and we take our most prized possessions Ė people Ė for granted. Others arenít nearly as lucky. Remember that the next time someone needs your help or just wants someone to talk to. Youíll notice my name is not attached to this letter. Thatís because the name isnít what is important. What is important is that people are there for one another Ė and not just during the holiday season or when we feel guilty or bad about something or someone, but always. Donít take people for granted. You make a difference.
For more information about becoming a mentor or giving your child a mentor, contact Sublette Big Brothers Big Sisters. Our phone number is 307-367-8900, email is Tamara@wyobbbs.org, address is 219 Pine St. in the Summit Building, Pinedale.
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