It is common to find a mentee in grade school. Help with reading. Needing a male influence in the life of a young boy. Guiding high energy or coaching instead of harsh discipline. There are so many things that can surface in the first few years of school with which a mentor can assist.
But the lost freshman…now that is a bit uncommon.
What is it that takes a young teenager off the path? How could one do so well in the lower grades and then struggle so much to find the spark within as they head toward adulthood?
Who knows? But it is not often a volunteer mentor has the opportunity to come in late in the game and make a significant difference.
So it was for Mr. “B”.
“N” was a bright young man. He didn’t need the intellectual stimulation Mr. B was capable of giving as a mentor. He just needed a coach who could help him dig inside of himself and find inspiration…a spark to ignite a desire to learn.
The fuel that ignited that spark turned out to be the written word. Mr. B had loved writing most of his life. It was his joy. A passion. For N writing was an escape. This common ground provided a firm foundation for their relationship. Month after month they shared stories and concepts. Each year N would raise his hand and ask for Mr. B to be his mentor. Through Mr. B’s genuine interest and empathy for N a relationship flourished. N began to believe in himself again. The accolades and awards came. So did the grades. And finally graduation.
And for one last time N turned to the written word to connect with his mentor, writing,
For the past few years you have sat with me in my classes. You have offered me valuable information about various things in life. I’m not just saying thanks as a mentee, I’m saying thanks as a friend. So thank you again for all you have taught me, and I hope I can use this information to help me down the road. So, again, thank you.