What is your most memorable mentoring moment?
These past couple weeks I have been incorporating weekly challenges into our “outdoor” sports class. Each week I make a video of myself also doing the challenge to encourage the girls to enter. It’s hard online to really be motivated and enter the challenge but, on Thursday, after showing the girls the obstacle course I made in my backyard, they all wanted to participate. It was amazing to see a chain reaction through the girls as each got excited about our weekly challenges!
Why do you know you are making an impact as a mentor?
Sometimes it’s hard to tell how much of an impact you really make on someone, but with PALS this summer I know I am when I watch the girls laugh and bond over the fun activities we do in class. The girls and I pack in social time, a warm-up, daily heath motivations and tips, and an active game all within the half hour we have class. In our short daily health talks I teach them new words and fun facts about why we should stay healthy. Later in the week, I asked the girls if they remember the information and they all jumped in excited about their new knowledge on health and exercise. I love exercising and spreading happiness with the girls!
What made you become a mentor?
My interest in serving in PALS was inspired by two of my older brothers Sean, who taught at TAP for three years, and Colman who is in his second year with TAP. My brothers and a couple friends encouraged me to apply, telling me their time with YLF was an amazing and fulfilling experience. I have a passion for teaching, being a role model, and bringing joy to children. Education is my field of interest, and I really enjoy pursuing this opportunity at PALS!
Did you have mentors growing up and can you share 1 memory of that experience?
I have had many mentors growing up and still do today! My favorite memory is with my mentor, Elizabeth. I participate in the Yuma Leadership Program which meets monthly to talk about careers and goal setting. Elizabeth and I still meet even after the program has finished this year. She has guided me through the toughest times and helped me keep my focus on the goals we set together. I am especially grateful that her and I have kept our relationship and become closer through the years. I am so lucky to have her in my life!
What motivates you to mentor everyday?
Each day, I am motivated by my own role models. I have never forgotten the people I looked up to when I was younger and I hope to be that impactful on the girls I teach today. I remember the joyful enthusiasm that my parents, teachers, camp counselors, siblings, and so many other elders had while spending time with me. I want to bring that same attitude to the younger people in my life in hope that the optimism will be spread.