Wednesday, May 12, 2010

April Mentor of the Month: Oscar Flores!

It has been about a year and a half since Oscar Flores and his mentee first began meeting, and their relationship has only grown stronger. His mentee has an unstable family life. He is being raised by a single mom with two significantly older brothers who have a history of getting into trouble with the law and being involved with potentially harmful groups of people. Fortunately, one of them was referred to the Mentor Program when he was in Junior High and is now on the right path. When that brother's mentor realized the difficult situation at home, he told Mentor Program staff he would really like to see the youngest get a mentor. That was a couple years ago. He was given a mentor, but that mentor had to move shortly after being matched. 
Enter: Oscar, who knew that he would be stepping into a difficult situation. His mentee struggled with abandonment issues, and therefore had a hard time opening up. Oscar was patient, and strove to show his mentee that he would be a strong support. Over the course of several months, and after hearing Oscar share some of his own personal stories, his mentee began to open up about his problems, struggles, and school issues. Oscar’s mentee may have begun as a 4th grader at Roosevelt Elementary with a dislike for reading and books, but all of that has changed after meeting Oscar. Through dedication and determination, Oscar influenced his mentee to share his love of reading by exposing him to different genres of books. Now his mentee not only loves reading but has even begun his own personal library. Oscar and his mentee enjoy going to the movies and are currently reading Lovely Bones and trying to figure out the differences between the movie and the book. 
Furthermore, Oscar works to bring together as many mentees as possible during the events. He encourages them to look beyond differences and embrace new opportunities. Most recently, at our Spring art event, he began a game of "stacking cups" and had a group of them compete to see who could stack them in the shortest amount of time. (Pictured above.)
Oscar has been gone above and beyond as a mentor and influence and he has earned the title of “other brother” in his mentee’s eyes because of it. His mentee now has a positive adult male after which to model himself. Great Job Oscar!

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