Friday, February 25, 2011

February Mentor of the Month

Janet Austin
Janet and her mentee have been together for over a year and have already become good friends. The mentee looks up to Janet in many ways and Janet often treats her mentee like a younger sister. Janet works for a local radio station and there are often promotional items that the station wants to throw away. Instead, Janet has found that she can bring those items to the school for use, rather than see them go to waste. For instance, she had hundreds of blank music sheet notes bound in a cover depicting “The Last Song”. She brought them to the music teacher at Canalino and they were able to use the paper if nothing else.

Beyond this, Janet has devoted her academic time with her mentee to focusing on her math. She dedicates an extra hour every week to sit with her in math class and provide her mentee with the attention she needs to focus and complete her math with a better understanding. She even taught her a new game, the “Guacamole Game” as they’ve dubbed it. It allows her mentee to quickly focus on what number of ingredients are needed to complete the recipe. It makes math fun and Janet’s mentee has become quite good at it. She even challenges her classmates and is confident in her math abilities now! Since they have met, her mentee’s math grades have jumped from “Needs improvement” to “Very Good” and have stayed consistent on that level ever since!

Janet makes sure to mix up the academics with fun, as she is quite a kid at heart herself. They have joined us for several program activities, including the Carpinteria Family Health Event, our trip to see the seal pups at the Seal Watch at the Carpinteria bluffs, our hike benefitting the Daniel Bryant Center, and other events. They also have a journal together that allows them to share their thoughts with one another when they cannot be together. Janet has been an amazing influence in her mentee’s life. Thank you so much Janet for all that you do!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

January Mentor of the Month

Ben Williams
Ben and his mentee have been together for a little over a year, and in that short time there has been tremendous growth. Before being referred to the Mentor Program, Ben’s mentee did not always get the support he needed to thrive in school and in life. From the moment they met, they both understood that they were being matched to help improve the mentee’s academics and life skills.

Ben continues to motivate his mentee to read (a huge feat as many of you know) and created fun games to develop study skills thereby improving his language arts & math skills tremendously. They even compete at chess now! 

Furthermore, Ben has stayed by his mentee’s side during the transition from elementary to junior high, a time that brings up sensitive and important issues like drugs and alcohol. Ben isn’t scared to have open and upfront conversations about this because he understands the importance of talking early. Their relationship continues to grow stronger with every meeting. Ben, your mentee is fortunate to have such an amazing mentor, and we are grateful for all that you do.
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