Written by Becky Lawlor
I have been the Mentoring Coordinator at Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Durham for approximately one year and a half. I have been a mentor in the In-School Program since April 2014 and I have seen the impact mentoring can have on a child, not only through my work at Big Brothers, but throughout my own match. Being the Mentoring Coordinator I am continuously talking about how a mentor can impact a child, and I am able to speak of my experience and express the excitement that comes from mentoring.
When I started mentoring my mentee in April of 2014 I looked at the In-school Mentoring Program as spending time together and having fun while working towards goals. Little did I know this mentoring experience would bring me a new perspective. I look forward to my time with my mentee and it brings me comfort that I have had a positive impact on her life in some ways. Now, my mentee and I are in the In-School Program as well as the traditional program so we can see each other over the summer break. On the weeks that I see her in school, we enjoy playing outside on the playground, throwing a ball around or playing in the gym and making up new games. My mentee enjoys being active, so we plan a lot of our activities around being up and moving.
During the time that we have been matched, we have got to know each other on a friend level. She knows that she is able to talk to me about anything and that I will listen to her, be there for her and offer suggestions if she wants help. I enjoy talking and being with my mentee because she is so enthusiastic and full of life. Seeing the excitement and happiness that she has when I come and see her at school or when I pick her up in the summer is an awesome feeling and it shows that she really enjoys our time together. Being a “Big Sister” is rewarding because you are able to celebrate your mentee’s successes and see how happy they are when they achieve goals or get a good grade on a test.
Being a Mentor has brought me a close friendship with an awesome girl! This match made me want to be there for another child, so I began mentoring another child in the In-School Program in May 2015. Mentoring does not only have an impact on the child, it has an impact on the mentor as well. I am looking forward to the upcoming school year so I am able to mentor in the school setting again.
If you're interested in learning more information about our mentoring programs, please call Cheryl Holmes at 905-985-3733 ext 2.