James seemed depressed and withdrawn

A mentoring story:

In middle school, James seemed depressed and withdrawn, and was lacking a father-figure in his family. He struggled with school and didn’t have much motivation. Staff wondered if he would like a mentor, and introduced him to Herm Franzen, a caring, retired educator who became a good friend. Over the years, Herm has consistently showed up to listen, provide support, and encourage James to continue his education. Last year they celebrated his graduation together. James has had ups and downs throughout high school, but has gradually become more outgoing and confident, enjoying a passion for culinary classes and joining the school’s newly formed e-sports team. James says ” I like spending time with someone who cares about me. He’s been a good friend, and helped me learn what it is to have grown up responsibilities. He’s helped me open up and be more than I was before.” James is glad he was able to be a part of the mentor program, and has recommended it to his sister and to friends.