October 2020 – Mentoring Minute

Stories to Share from Our BTO Community Mentor Coordinators:

Life-long Friendships
It’s wonderful to hear when mentors and students develop a life-long friendship, and I heard an update from one pair recently. This student and mentor met in middle school and stayed together through her graduation in 2018. Now the young lady is attending WWU and she still wants to meet her mentor for breakfast each week. She has reached out to maintain their relationship as a young adult and still sees her mentor as an important support person.

Eager for Mentor Meeting
Mentors and students are usually eager to reconnect after not seeing each other during the summer months when school is closed. This fall they are even more excited as some have not seen each other since last March. One young man answered immediately when I told him I was trying to get a time for them to meet. It took about a week of phone calls with all the parties to get them connected in person. Every day the young man messaged me: “When do we get to meet! I’m so excited!” When they did see each other, he pretty much talked non-stop the whole hour. At the end of their time, he said, “I can’t wait until next week!”

Missing in Action
Our school district started the school year with students in “remote learning.” One student in particular was “missing” from his classes as we started the year. Teachers and administrators could not get ahold of him or his family. This student was part of our program and I had worked with him closely the previous year. He happened to be a student I had worked closely with, so I paid the student a visit and it went well. I was able to talk to him about mentoring and school and he then got connected with his classes. This BTO program does more for students then just finding them mentors.

1 to 1 Connection Needed
With a long break due to COVID, many mentors and students are eager to meet in person once again. I have had some pairs begin meeting via ZOOM this school year and those that I have observed so far are so grateful to see each other. Soon we will be able to bring in students and mentors to see each other face to face. I am reminded how much students need that one-on-one contact that our program provides. Maybe more now than ever!

Quality Time Wanted
A mentor asked their mentee if she has been hanging out with her friends. The student said she is not hanging out with her friends anymore, but they would start off where they left off once she was back at school. I told a teacher this story, and he said he wasn’t surprised. Many students do not spend time with their friends outside of school. They stay home and interact with their friends over social media. A Zoom call with a mentor is a way for students to spend time “in real-time” with someone who cares about them. A commodity that is needed more than ever.

Thanks to our Mentor Coordinators who facilitate positive life change for students and mentors alike!