Since 2005, Mass Mentoring Partnership has teamed up with the Boston Red Sox for the Red Sox Mentoring Challenge (RSMC), an initiative designed to recruit more caring Massachusetts adults as mentors. In light of this year’s RSMC, we asked our participating programs to reflect on how the initiative has strengthened their program and recruitment efforts. Raymond Thibault, a mentor from South Boston T.E.A.M., shares his experience.
Hello Mass Mentoring Partnership readers! My name is Raymond Thibault, I am a Polymer Scientist working for NuLabel Technologies in East Providence, RI. Just two years ago, I was living in South Boston and I accepted the Red Sox Mentoring Challenge by applying to be a mentor with South Boston T.E.A.M. (Together Engaging Adolescents through Mentoring). Shortly after being accepted into the program, I was matched with a very bright and incredibly personable 11-year-old named Jonathan.
Jonathan and I have been matched for 18 months now, and looking back, most of our time together has been spent either playing, watching, or talking about sports. One of our first Meet-Ups was going to Mentoring Night at Fenway Park in May of 2013. That was Jonathan’s first time at Fenway and we quickly discovered we shared a love for the Red Sox. Ever since that evening, I like to remind him that he is a very spoiled Red Sox fan. While the 2013 World Series team was one of his first Red Sox memories, 1986 World Series team was mine! And now as Jonathan approaches high school, we have been trying out different sports that he can play at school. This autumn, he plans to join the football team for the first time, so we are experimenting to find his favorite position.
If you are on the fence about mentoring, I say just go for it. The time commitment is minimal and you will have a solid support system in your program’s staff. There are plenty of statistics to understand how you will have a tremendous impact on an at-risk youth, however, these don’t mention what I think is the best part about being a mentor: you get to see everything through a fresh set of eyes when you are with your mentee. Seeing things through Jonathan’s perspective, I was able to re-experience my first visit to Fenway, my first roller coaster ride, my first time seeing Star Wars, and my first Duck Boat Ride. My list is still growing, where will yours start?