I am fundraising with Mass Mentoring Partnership again this year because I see the power of mentoring everyday at the Old Colony Y!
I have seen first-hand from hundreds of cases the absolute life-altering impact mentoring has on a child! There is one that I continue to be most impressed and, frankly, moved by…it is Iraimi and Erin. This relationship created for Iraimi a most beautiful transition from a scared child to a confident, successful young adult.
Iraimi became involved with my organization, the Old Colony YMCA, at the age of 14. Her family came to our Family Life Center, (a program for families experiencing homelessness), after years of transiency. When Iraimi arrived, she was a scared, insecure and untrusting young adult. While with us, Iraimi was mentored by our Director, Erin. I watched with pride as Erin became a major support (mentor) to Iraimi by caring and creating opportunities for Iraimi to experience and from which she could learn.
Interestingly enough Iraimi reports the importance of mentoring is the “little things” that Erin did for her. The unconditional support, the asking how the day was, the trips to the Y for a shared work-out, the phone calls before a major exam and the sitting in the office and just talking about the day…are all the aspects Iraimi views as the most important element of mentoring. Erin will accept no credit for the remarkable individual Iraimi has become and simply and humbly states, “All I did was listen to her, care about her (a great deal!), have her believe in herself and open some doors for her to exceed her potential.”
Now, nine years later, Iraimi has truly exceeded expectations and graduated from Wheaton College last spring with academic honors. Shortly after graduating from Wheaton College, she was chosen to be a Watson Fellow from a nationwide highly competitive field of remarkable college students. Forty were selected. As a Watson Fellow, Iraimi is currently spending a full year, (3 month’s per country) in Scotland, Africa, Sir Lanka and Peru. Her responsibilities in these countries are to bring and share her knowledge in youth development, developmental assets and, yes, mentoring to the children and community leaders living there. Our Iraimi, the “Mentee” has now become a powerful mentor to children in other countries!!! (…although still being mentored by Erin)
This most beautiful pair is an amazing (and measurable) example of the power and impact of a quality mentoring experience. I could not be more proud of the two of them.
Mass Mentoring Partnership is a well-run agency that I applaud and in which I believe. Through their work with over 200 mentoring organizations (of which the Old Colony YMCA is one) they focus on fueling the growth of quality youth mentoring in Massachusetts by providing training, securing funding, collecting relevant data, and engaging employers on strategies to encourage their employees to become mentors. I believe so much in mentoring that I have accepted MMP's invitation again this year to assist them in raising funds to support mentoring by running the 117th Boston Marathon. I am extremely proud to be working with the Mass Mentoring Partnership and look forward to assisting them by reaching my goal of $10,000 and completing the race.