My mom is truly one of the kindest people I know. From substitute teaching and buying children backpacks, shoes and school supplies on her lunch breaks to supporting incredible causes such as SRA through crazy auction purchases and donations, she has an insatiable hunger for giving back.
As her daughter, my only hope is that I might be able to be half of the kind hearted, selfless person that she is. Through her actions and life choices, my mom has instilled in me the desire and passion to help others. No matter what the mode of delivery may be, whether time, resources, life experience or even just a smile; to give to others truly feeds my soul.
My mom had learned of SRA through a family friend who became a mentor last year and my mom decided to apply and was accepted as a mentor for the 2012 class. This Summer I was introduced to SRA while attending the cowboy themed family hoedown that my mom had purchased at last years SRA Gala. Following a spectacular day of fun and after getting to meet and speak with Kirsten, Jennifer and Barb, I was encouraged to apply to become a mentor. Our hoedown was held on Saturday and I applied on Sunday. A short time later I was accepted as a mentor! I was incredibly honored to be welcomed into the SRA family and it made it even more special to know that my mom and I were about to embark on this journey together.
We went through orientation together, met our students together and wove our way through the city with our group as we got to know our students on the scavenger hunt. We’ve done some activities together, but we’ve also recognized the individual needs of our students. While our students are two outstanding girls their academic, social and personal needs vary greatly. My mom and I have both worked hard to tailor our activities and one on one time with our students to their unique needs. From culturally stimulating outings to academically focused experiences and even simple activities focused on relaxation, we’ve each been able to spend invaluable quality time with our students. This approach has provided each of us with a strong rapport and solid foundation form which we’ve each cultivated a wonderful relationship with our student.
To walk this journey with my mom has been incredible. With twenty-six years between us our personal perspectives and contributions to SRA and our students are different but in many ways they are also similar. For both of us however, we strive to nurture, love, support and guide our students in the coming years with as much compassion and kindness possible.
While it has only been a few months since our students came into our lives, my life has already been enriched beyond anything I could have imagined. I know our formal commitment to our students is to support them through college but I have a feeling these relationships will blossom over the years to become friendships of a lifetime. The fact that my mom and I are in this together is truly the icing on an already exquisite cake!