Saying Goodbye to Mena

Seedling Mentor ProgramSeedling_Lunch prepares and supports community volunteers like me in a school-based, research-driven relationship that has measurable results. Since it is based on best practices for mentoring children, it carefully teaches us how to begin, maintain and sometimes how to end a friendship with some of the most vulnerable children we will ever encounter. Continue reading

More Lessons from Mentoring

2014 Mentee and Me

My Seedling Mentee and Me

I have mentioned before that I mentor with an amazing program called Seedling Mentoring Program. My mentee is an 8-year-old Latina who is a child of an incarcerated parent. She is a sweet, smart little girl who has a vivid imagination and a load of potential, but she is also surrounded by barriers. Continue reading

Becoming a “Very Best Thing”

Seedling KidsI read Ken Herman’s column this morning in the Austin American Statesman, and the power of mentoring hit me once more.

You can read it here.

I hope that Mr. Herman’s friend and mentee can work something out and stay in touch, but the reality is, these are kids whose lives are in chaos. Whether the move comes for a better job or cheaper rent for their care-giving parent, they have been passed on to yet another relative, or even if it is due to the vagaries of the foster care system…it really doesn’t matter. It is another uprooting and another chance for abandonment for these children who have a parent in prison.

I started mentoring this year, after nearly a decade of helping provide opportunities for others to mentor and supporting the best site based and research driven program I know of; Seedling Mentor Program.

Why did I wait so long?  

Well, based on my experiences with another mentoring program many years ago, I thought I wasn’t good at it. You see, I had been thrown into an incredibly difficult situation pool with little preparation, training or support, and I drowned. Continue reading