Marco and Omar’s Story:
As a graduating senior, Marco had a chance to reflect on the impact of two Be the One mentors in his life. As a middle school student new to Lynden, he felt shy and overwhelmed when staff suggested a mentor. He wasn’t very confident in his ability to speak English, and enjoyed having a mentor who could speak Spanish with him. Omar shared his culture and language, and over time Marco felt comfortable enough to share some difficult family issues and ask for help in learning how to cope. Three years later he still remembers how important Omar’s support was during a critical time in his life. When Omar moved out of the area, at the end of Marco’s freshman year, he really missed him. At first Marco wasn’t sure if he wanted a different mentor, but finally decided he would like to have someone to talk with regularly, and then met Doug. They bonded over working on math homework and a shared love of computers. The fact that Doug could speak Spanish and had spent time in Mexico also helped them connect early on. Since then, they have talked about all kinds of important topics: school, future plans, programming, business ideas, banking and investing, and creating on social media. Marco plans to attend WCC next year to study business and computers, and is even starting his own small business right now detailing cars.
At Be The One, we understand the many unique challenges our youth face today. Through mentorship, students are connected with an adult that matches their interests and personality. For one hour a week students meet with their mentor at school in a safe and positive environment. Be The One removes the financial burden of the program from the school by raising community support to fund a full time Mentor Coordinator position who is an employee of the school. Be The One also helps by attracting mentors and training them to effectively connect with students.