LONDONDERRY, Vt. – Every year Mentor Vermont teams up with Comcast to raise awareness of the volunteers and nonprofits that run mentor programs for local youth in their community throughout the state of Vermont. Each year they select up to 13 different mentoring matches to be role models for other programs. The Collaborative takes this opportunity to highlight one of our mentor and mentee matches from our school-based mentor program in partnership with Flood Brook School. We would like to share Joe and Garon’s story on how they were chosen to be this year’s Mentor Vermont ambassadors.
Garon is one of our new youth to join the Collaborative’s mentor program. Garon is an inquisitive and energetic first grader from our Flood Brook community who was new to mentoring. Our youth have adapted to the new normal of virtual connection although it may be challenging at times, and Garon is no exception. He has also mentioned that he would like to “see” Joe more often because their time is so important to him. Garon has said that when they are “together” that it is really fun and he likes having that one person who is outside of his friends and family to talk to.
Joe is a great role model to our program. As a mentor, he keeps communication open to all parties involved and is able to set realistic expectations. He offers support and guidance to his mentee; he is honest, actively participates, and takes the time to know his mentee. Joe is reliable and especially focused on establishing a relationship with today’s youth. Even though the matches were not going to be able to meet in person or on the school grounds, Joe didn’t back down.
Technology plays a big role in today’s society, and with multiple options for people to connect over the internet, Garon’s generation is used to a technological world. Joe, on the other hand, did not grow up with technology and has had to adjust. Watching these two be able to come together over the computer is amazing and powerful since it shows that they both are dedicated to one another and rise to the challenges this year has brought upon us. We are excited to see what is in store for this match as the year continues on. If a child has at least one caring adult in their life, then they will be able to build resilience and forge everlasting relationships with their community and become a healthier individual who can turn around and give back to their community.
Being a mentor can have such a powerful and positive impact on today’s youth, especially with all the changes and challenges we are facing in this pandemic. We ask our community members to reach out to a peer or a youth you know to give them that helping hand and help them build assets and resiliency in their daily lives. Contact The Collaborative to become a mentor by calling 802-824-4200 or emailing Devon Collins at email@example.com.