When I first met Jacob* I wasn’t sure what to expect. I know a little about his background — that he had lost his Mom and that his dad was not in his life… that his aunt had taken him in... and that he was considered one of the more “at-risk” kids in the entire program.
Given everything that had happened to him before the first grade, I thought maybe he’d be sad, or angry, or socially difficult.
But when I met Jacob, I was amazed at what a smart, funny, delightful little boy he was!
We clicked almost immediately — Jacob told me all about his favorite superheroes (he loves Spider Man) and we talked about his favorite video games. He also told me, very matter of factly, that his Mom was dead and that she was an angel in heaven. That almost broke my heart. But I told him that I had also lost my Mom a few years ago, and that maybe our Moms were hanging out together in heaven. And that seemed to help (both of us).
Since that day, our relationship has grown. I’ve learned that Jacob is a talented artist, that he has a “girlfriend” (a little girl in his class), and that he loves professional wrestling (he’s a big fan of John Cena). And we’ve bonded over games of Checkers, Monopoly, and Jenga during our lunches together. He doesn’t talk much about his Mom, but I know there will be a day when he needs to process what happened to her — and I hope to be there for him during that time.
I don’t know where our mentoring relationship will ultimately take us. But I know that Jacob has many difficult challenges ahead of him — and I am honored and blessed to have the opportunity to be there for him. And I know that any love and guidance I can give him now will ripple through the rest of his life.
It really is true: A small amount of time — an hour or so a week — can make all the difference!
*Jacob's name has been changed to protect his privacy
Folsom's Hope is always looking for mentors! We almost always have kids on our mentoring waitlist, waiting for someone with a little time (and a lot of heart), to volunteer to be a part of their lives. Check out our Mentoring page for more information.
-- Salwa Kasabian, Executive Director