I’m not sure if I mentioned this last year, but the girl I mentored for several years moved over the summer to South Carolina. The Big Brother/Big Sister program tracked her down around October. (Way to communicate, city school system!) I was able to send her a package with a note wishing her well in her new school and down in South Carolina. It was weird because I felt like there should have been more to us ending our mentoring relationship – or as BBBS called it, “terminating the match.” Once BBBS could terminate the match (ie., me contacting the girl and wishing her well, saying goodbye, whatever), they could work on a new match for me.
I was about to write off the program. I mean, it’s February, and I haven’t been in the schools since last June. Until yesterday. Yesterday, I decided to make an effort to answer every phone call I received at work. (Sometimes, if I’m in the middle of a task, I’ll let it go to voicemail. Or, I admit it, I will screen my calls….sorry Red Cross.) But Tuesday was different. I answered the calls from the old people who didn’t understand how to type in the website name. And by the fourth phone call, I was getting frustrated with talking to people. The fourth phone call, though, was someone from the BBBS program.
There’s a first-grader at one of the city schools who is about to lose her mentor (the mentor is a college student and heading back to Florida soon.) And for confusion sake, let’s refer to the first-grader as LS (little sister.) They want someone who can work with LS on a weekly basis and who can handle the schedule (the college student wasn’t able to be as flexible with her schedule.) They need someone who can stick with LS for several years – through grade school and even into middle school. The real clincher, though, was when I heard that the LS’s kindergarten teacher said that LS has had a lot of people in and out of her life, and really needs someone who she can depend on. At that point, I knew that I needed to be the dependable one for LS. A lot of the kids in the program are from single-parent families, and may have a parental figure in and out of the home. (The last girl I mentored had her mom, and then a random man she’d call dad – basically mom’s boyfriends over the years.)
Sometime in the very near future, I will be meeting LS and transitioning into the mentor position. I’m pretty excited about this – especially because I just stocked up on Berenstein Bears books at Waldenbooks when they were going out of business. (Don’t ask me why I bought the kids books. I really, really loved Berenstein Bears, though, and thought they were a very fun purchase!) I need to brush up on my kid-friendly craft projects, and keep my fingers crossed that LS likes to color and read just as much as I do!