Program highlight: Big Friends Little Friends at Family Service, Inc.

We're celebrating Mentoring Day at Fenway today with a Red Sox Mentoring Challenge program highlight of Big Friends Little Friends at Family Service Inc., in Lawrence. Mercedes Tran is the match coordinator there.

MMP: Tell us a little about your mentoring program and your role.

Mercedes: I am the match coordinator for Big Friends, Little Friends in Lawrence. I interview mentors and mentees in order to learn more about their personalities. I find out about their hobbies, likes and dislikes, so that the match is made for the best future friendship possible.

MMP: Why do you feel mentoring is important?

Mercedes: Young people need adults who support them. It's also really important for kids to have someone who shares life's moments with them.

MMP: Your program is participating in this year’s Red Sox Mentoring Challenge, an initiative designed recruit more caring Massachusetts adults as mentors. Which Red Sox player do you think is the best mentor on the team?

Mercedes: I think that David Ortiz is the best mentor on the Red Sox. His positive attitude both on and off the field shows he cares about kids and his community.

MMP: What do you think is the most important thing for people to know if they are thinking about becoming a mentor?

Mercedes: I was a mentor, and I had a lot of fun with my mentee. It was a personally rewarding experience, and it was as simple as "being there" when she needed me. We discussed challenges and focused on her dreams. She knew that she could accomplish more than what was immediately visible to her.

MMP: How can people learn more about mentoring opportunities with your organization?

Mercedes: Visit our web site or attend one of our "Mentor for a Day" events. It really lets you try mentoring on for size!