Pal mentors get as good as they give
Who doesn’t enjoy a win-win situation? I know I do. Working with the Pals Mentoring Program for almost 17 years has given me a great opportunity to see people at their very best. Watching adults and teens from Carbondale to Parachute give of their time and of themselves has kept me in the business. Mentoring a child is one of the most productive things you can do to make a difference in your community. We witness the benefits of the Pals Mentoring Program constantly as we watch youngsters become more responsible, enjoy school more, have better relationships with their friends and families and choose less risky behaviors. Now that counts for something. Thanks to all our present and past Pal mentors for the win-win in which you’ve taken part.The benefits to the Pal mentors are also worth mentioning. I have mentored two children in the Pals program, and the benefits for me were great. I had a lot of fun going to places and doing things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. My second pal got me back in the racquetball court, and as I coached her through many homework assignments, I had fun and relearned a lot of math and English. My first Pal and I were actually pregnant at the same time, so we learned a lot about that whole process and prenatal care together. How much fun to have babies within months of each other, and to share mommyhood from birth all the way through their schooling. Other teen and adult mentors talk about learning time management, enjoying experience in future fields they might pursue, and doing things they haven’t done since they were younger like going to “G” rated movies, swinging, flying kites and skipping rocks in the river. One of our adult Pal mentors likes to tell his story about his Jr. Pal teaching him how to just play again. The really neat thing about being a Pal mentor is that you get to be yourself and have fun as you build a really significant relationship with your Jr. Pal. YouthZone asks that you spend 2-3 hours together each week for the span of a year. Some of our Pal mentors enjoy their mentoring relationship so much that they continue their match for many years.We have kids waiting for someone just like you, and we would love to talk to you about this opportunity to be significant in a child’s life. It’s a new year and a great time to do something really rewarding for yourself. Give us a call at 945-9300 or 625-3141 and let us begin setting up a win-win for you! Patty Schaffner is YouthZone Pals Mentoring Program director.
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