Making a difference matters to me, and mentoring youth gives me a wonderful opportunity to give back to my community.
My mentee, 14 year old Malia*, likes Starbucks and talking. As a mom of two boys, I can say that hanging out with a girl is a completely different experience. We occasionally do manis and pedis or just walk the mall, not buying or spending anything, but walking and talking about clothes and what’s happening in her life. Malia opens up to me and I reinforce her strength, beauty and the importance of being comfortable in her own skin.
It’s not easy being a teenager. Sometimes it’s difficult to go to parents and voice your worries. I certainly wished I had another adult that was there for me when I was growing up. I hope that I am that person for Malia. She’s experienced struggles with online bullying and I’ve been there throughout to listen and provide guidance. Whenever Malia and I spend time together, no matter how she was feeling when she arrived, she’s always upbeat when she leaves. And that makes me feel good.
January is National Mentoring Month. Peel CAS volunteer mentors build relationships and act as role models to provide support, understanding and guidance to children or youth involved with our agency. Time spent together helps to build and strengthen self-esteem and self-confidence.
Looking to contribute your time and talents? Peel Children’s Aid is currently looking for more mentors. To find out more about our volunteering opportunities, click here. Our next volunteer information session is on February 1.
*name has been changed