For this month’s Mentor-Mentee Relationship Highlight, Teyana Curran of Silver Lining Mentoring was kind enough to speak with me about a remarkable pair from her program: Deavonie and Keith. Listen to what they had to say about each other, and about how mentoring has affected their lives.
Mentee Deavonie’s words:
The Experience of being partnered with a mentor through SLM has been a great one. My mentor that I have been partnered with is Keith, me and him have built our friendship through our time at SLM and doing activities around our local areas. Having a mentor can be both beneficial in learning and growing. Keith has helped me with financial aspects of life such as credit, budgeting, and staying on track with certain passions. We both enjoy learning about each other’s lives and how we go about our day-to-day routines and what we do to deal with life obstacles, should we be dealing with any at the time.
Having someone to connect with as a young individual helps to give me a different perspective on going about life when change comes to pass. Me and Keith have both enjoyed learning about what each other’s passions are, and have taken the time to go to museums, shows, and events to broaden our knowledge on those subjects.
Mentor Keith’s words:
I first got involved as a mentor because I believe that young people deserve to have adults in their lives they can lean on from time to time. I also enjoy being with teenagers, with their energy and enthusiasm. And deep down, to be honest, I thought I’d feel better about myself if I was ‘helping’ someone else.
Once D and I started spending time together, I discovered a very different reality. I began to see a world that was beyond my experience – with rules and memories that were sometimes hard to understand. His life experience challenges me and his questions make me think. I can’t always answer them, but I hope it just helps for D to have a sounding board.
We’ve done a lot of different things. From a Drake musical at the Planetarium to a night at the MFA, sushi for dinner or breakfast after his shift at work. We connect, and enjoy the time together. I used to worry that because we came from such different worlds, I wouldn’t be of much use to D. But I have learned that it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the friendship and acceptance we share. He has this wonderful energy and positive attitude – it’s contagious!
D has enriched my life because of his experiences, his willingness to share and his questions! He sees the world through younger eyes - the way it is today, not the way it was yesterday. And this is a gift to me – me who worries about getting old and set in my ways. He shares his dreams, and we talk about ways he can reach for them, ways to prepare for success. I‘m not sure he realizes just how much I value this – but I have grown much more than I ever anticipated. Because of our time together, I think we BOTH see our shared world in a different light.
I never know just what we’ll do or where our conversations will lead. I just know that together we explore the world, and have fun doing it. Life is shaped by the opportunities we take advantage of, not the ones we pass up. I am so thankful that both D and I made a decision to enter the SLM program!