Friday, November 5, 2010

October Mentor of the Month

Jai Ranganathan
Jai and his mentee have been meeting for about 2 and a half years. Throughout this time, Jai has been a tremendous asset in his mentee's life. He started with a kid who was easily distracted, extremely behind academically, and had little ability to catch up to speed. Although he had a little motivation, he didn't know how to get himself caught up with the other students in his class. Jai felt that the "school system [was] not structured to deal with students as far behind as [his mentee], so he has been shuffled along." He was roughly 3 grade levels behind (after being held back a grade). Jai made arrangements to meet with his parents to discuss the possiblity of getting extra help for both his mentee and his mentee's twin brother.

Over the next year, Jai and his mentee read together, book after book, picking out ones that were of interest (not school books). His mentee started reading on his own, and surely enough, he caught up to grade level.

Jai could have easily given up hope that his mentee would never catch up to his classmates, but he didn't. He could have just played Frisbee with him and taken him places, because that's what was easiest, and that's what was most enjoyable for them both. But they persevered, and their friendship is stronger because of this. They never stopped having fun, but Jai found a way to engage his mentee in academics and made it enjoyable for him. Jai has also started to take his twin under his wing, bringing him to Program activities and engaging him in meaningful adventures, including a private 5-hour tour with the a police officer. This is a profession that both boys were interested in for their futures.

Jai is encouraged by the progress that has been made with his mentee, and shared his passion for mentoring with friends, who have requested more information about mentoring. One has even begun with a mentee herself! Thank you Jai! We are honored to acknowledge you as our October mentor of the month!

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