January is National Mentoring Month. We’re highlighting our mentors on our Facebook page, and we’ll tell a few stories here. Starting with Polly and S.
S. is the middle of five children, and she is the only girl. They all live with their grandmother. Before becoming a Circle Girl, S. had limited opportunities to explore her potential. From the start, she was curious, creative, had leadership potential, and was open to new possibilities. With the right mentor, where could she be in a year?
S. met Polly in the summer of 2014. Polly is intelligent, vivacious, compassionate and deeply cares about giving back to her community. As a new mentor, Polly was so very excited to meet and make a connection with her S. During her first few visits she found S. to be guarded and not very engaged, but also saw that S. had something more in her. Polly has worked very hard to forge a relationship with S., including taking time for meaningful chats with her grandmother as well. Now their time together is effortless, fun and S. feels comfortable enough to share what she likes and wants to learn more about.
One afternoon, S. mentioned to Polly that she desperately wanted to take dance classes. Polly worked to figure out a way to make that happen, and classes at a local dance academy were arranged, including S. receiving a full scholarship to attend. But there was still the matter of getting S. to class. Her grandmother doesn’t drive and S. did not know any of the girls in the class for carpooling. With no easy solution, Polly took it upon herself to step in and help S. realize her dream by driving her to dance class every week. Polly said, “It's a big commitment for me and my schedule, but I know how much S. really wanted this new opportunity to explore something that sparks her passion!”
Today, a year and a half after becoming a Circle Girl, S. exudes a new found confidence. This was especially evident during camp this past summer where she was more at ease with making new friends and was helping new girls with feeling homesick. She has shown courage to try new things, putting herself in situations like dance, and has gained the confidence to know that even if something is new and scary she can try it and do well! In the last year, S.'s life has truly been changed by becoming a Circle Girl.
Are you a mentor? Whose life will you change this next year?