Mentors make a difference
I have always believed the power of mentoring is great. As a mentor you are in the unique position that you are not the parent or teacher that “nags” or “preaches” to the child about right and wrong or the family member that has naturally biased opinions and sometimes unreasonably high expectations.
I heard about Windsor County Partners (WCP) through a community service program at Hypertherm, my employer. In existence since 1974, WCP provides free mentoring partnerships to children ages 8-18 living in Windsor County. What really intrigued me about WCP was my strong belief in their mission statement — using mentoring to help youth realize their potential as healthy, responsible decision makers. Like many others, I work full time and have other activities outside of work so I was hesitant to become involved in a formal mentoring program. The commitment through WCP is six to eight hours a month with your junior partner. Please note: I do not have children of my own and am an only child who grew up mostly around much older family members. I do not have experience as a teacher or guidance counselor, however I consider myself to be a respectful, non-judgmental person and overall good citizen. I felt I could positively impact the life of a young, impressionable adult.
I have been a mentor/senior partner to a 13-year-old young woman since November; we will call her Amy. While still early in our mentoring relationship, I am already seeing the positive impact of our time together. In this past school year, Amy’s grades have drastically improved, and she even made honor roll for the very first time. I am not going to claim that I am solely responsible, but I have reason to believe that my keen interest in her school activities and genuine concern for her well-being play a positive role. After my experience, I truly believe that every young person could benefit from having an older buddy/mentor that helps guide them in their decisions and supports during difficult times. This message particularly hits home in wake of the recent Hartford teen suicides.
Windsor County Partners welcomes any adult who is interested in making a positive impact in a young person’s life. If you would like more information please call (802) 674-5101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.