I originally started to mentor because I had a lot of time throughout the week, and in my future career will be helping youth, so I found it fitting. I figured the experience would benefit me, and I would get to help someone in Brookings County, so I signed up to be a BCYMP Mentor.
My Mentee and I hit it off right away in September of 2018. She is a hilarious, sweet, and smart girl that always keeps me on my toes, and I consider her a great friend of mine. We both enjoy spending time outdoors with my dog, reading a good book and there is never a time that we are together and not laughing. Ever since I started mentoring, I am always telling people he or she should sign up to mentor because of how awesome it is. It is not just the relationship you build with your Mentee, but also the BCYMP staff and other Mentors that you build a relationship with as well. It is like one big family of support and encouragement throughout the program.
From the beginning my Mentee and I have always supported and respected one another, and I think part of that is because I look at her like my equal and as my friend. She gets to pick what we do when we hangout and she gets to have control over everything she does, within reason, for that hour that we are together each week.
Just because I consider her as my friend, it doesn’t mean that I have not had the privilege of being able to teach my Mentee some valuable lessons. For example, when I first started to mentor, I lived on SDSU campus in the dorms so that is where we would hang-out sometimes. We would take walks around campus and she would ask me so many questions. She thought campus was a small town inside of Brookings! I explained that it kind of was and after talking about different colleges and what she will all learn in college. After, she then told me that she wants to go to college. This was exciting as her BCYMP Mentor because she has not had a lot of exposure to college and post high school education. We have both grown together and as individuals throughout the year that we have been matched and it has been my favorite part of mentoring! Watching her grow and become this even more amazing girl makes me so excited to see what her future holds, because I know it will be bright.
BCYMP will have a New Mentor training on Monday, March 9 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at GracePoint. To register, call 697-0444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.