Chris Coyle, a mentor with Metropolitan Family Services MetroMentors program gives insight on his experience in the feature below. Click here if you are interested in becoming a MetroMentor.
How did you get involved in the MetroMentors Program?
A friend from church told him about the MetroMentors Program. I live within 7 miles of the area I mentor in and wanted to help the community. My daughter is about the same age as the student I mentor and it is another inside look at what’s going on in their generation. It’s interesting to see that some things are universal and others are not, when my family only lives a few miles away from this area.
What do you think are the most important characteristics to have as a mentor?
Reliability & consistency. There is such an excitement in the students as they walk in & hope to see their mentor. For some of these kids, whatever their home life, knowing that there is someone who comes all the way to see just them, for only an hour a week gives them a sense of value and the attention they need. A mentor is someone who is just there for them – it makes a difference to that one kid.
Explain your mentoring experience.
I have been a mentor with MetroMentors for about a year and a half. My mentee is in the seventh grade. We meet after school with our MetroMentors group and participate in a variety of activities from working on homework, computers, crafts, sports, group games or having one-on-one time discussions focused on what my mentee would like to talk about; his feelings, home/school life, issues, etc. I have noticed my mentee progress over the time we have spent with one another as he is now much more open and real. He has learned that one does not always have to be competitive and to appreciate someone else doing something good by celebrating another’s accomplishment.
How is MetroMentors special/unique?
Many people think of mentoring as a more of some thing that is restricted to an outcome or a performance based thing. MetroMentors has a less defined agenda & is more about listening and interacting to give kids their hour to shine & spend quality time spent with an adult.
Why should others get involved in MetroMentors?
MetroMentors is really fun and rewarding! Mentoring isn’t a time-consuming activity and you learn things from the students as well as them learning from you. The students are very appreciative as well as the schools and parents. In some way you are making a difference in someone’s life.
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