Outagamie County Mentors share their wisdom with those who are considering becoming a mentor:
• There is no pressure to be “special”. You can be very at ease with your mentee there is no expectation other than to hang out for a while. It is also an opportunity to do “dumb” stuff with a kid-things you wouldn’t normally do.
• The reward is when the kid opens up and starts talking about his problems,. He is not looking for solutions he just needs a chance to verbalize his feelings. My mentee has no one else to talk to.
• Don’t have a fear of failure. You get more out of it than the kids! Don’t be afraid of the time commitment, there is always room in any ones schedule.
• I think people see the words “at-risk” and a red flag goes up. They need to realize that these boys are good kids, they are just dealing with things that they have no control over. They need someone they can look up to and do fun things with.
• I would want (potential mentors) to know that it can be frustrating at times, but the rewards greatly outweigh the negatives. Mentoring is just like anything else, the more you put in to it, the more you get out of it.
• You just need to spend time with a kid doing fun things, giving them access to activities and your time , just be yourself!
• I want to give back to someone I could help for all that I have been given.
You have been my mentor for three years, and I really appreciate you sticking with me and not giving up on me. I also appreciate the time we spend together. I am very grateful to have you part of my life. I just want to say thank you for all that you do. We always seem to have a great time together, and I enjoy the things we do together. You are a voice of reason and someone I can talk to when I have problems with school, friends or parents. Thank you for sticking by me as I battle to stay clean and sober. It is tough for me sometimes to resist those temptations. I just try to think of the people who believe that I can stay clean, and it helps me from giving in to those temptations. I hope someday I can be a supportive mentor to a girl that is like me as a way to pay back all that you have done for me.
"Micheal is a great joy, he has an interest in getting together and really has needed a role model… I am enjoying the program!!"- Ken (Mentor)
" Daniella is very positive and has great laughter, she makes me realize how lucky I am.. she brings me joy and I am happy that I can help her."- Bonnie (mentor)
"Scott is my friend and I love to hang out with him and play, walk our dogs or go out to eat.. he is like my big brother."- Cody (youth)
"I have a lot of fun with my mentor, I am trying new things, am more open and my attitude has gotten better."- Emily (youth)
"I feel that my child is less angry and not as stressed like before, she is not stealing, lying or being difficult, she knows that she can count on her mentor."- (parent)