Kelli* and Raina* were matched for over 8 years. Unfortunately, the relationship will change because Raina is moving down south. Whenever this kind of change happens, the Long Island Youth Mentoring Case Manager calls them together for a closing meeting where we can ask questions about their friendship. Here are Kelli’s reflections after their meeting:
“I was shocked to hear Raina speak about what she got from our time together, as I don’t think we even touched on many of the subjects that she mentioned. It has taught me that mentoring is about being a role model; your actions really do speak louder than words. But having said that, it is often the little things that you say that don’t seem like much, but turn out to have a huge impact on your mentee. I have to chalk it up to the Holy Spirit and to LIYM’s mantra of ‘Praying Up and Showing Up’.
On a number of occasions, I was surprised to have Raina open up as we were driving some place, sharing situations in her life that were very private. Sometimes she would wait for a response from me or just out and out ask for one. She seemed relieved to be able to share these things. Many of those conversations were about her getting into fights and/or trouble at school. I would tell her that she is a really good kid who tries to act like she is tough but that this display was not who she really is. I think she agreed with me but didn’t seem to know how to change. We talked about praying and leaving it to God to direct her. Raina’s a very young Christian who doesn’t have any fellowship with Christian friends for support so it’s hard for her to envision what this looks like.
One time after such a talk she told me that a girl in school tried to pick a fight with her and she told her she didn’t want to fight. She just walked away from the situation. She was very proud of herself and anxious for my approval, which of course she got with a big hug. I’ve heard it said by other mentors that mentoring brings a host of blessings to the mentor’s life. I can affirm that. I am very grateful for Raina and for our years together. I will miss her. She will always be in my prayers.”
*Names have been changed to protect privacy
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