Thursday, July 11, 2013

A mentor can be a real saving grace...

I just returned from a match meeting and, as always, it was illuminating and inspiring.

What continues to make an impression on me is the strength of the human spirit as exhibited through our mentees. I sat in the room this afternoon with a woman, a mother, who had over the last year lost her son, endured a bitter divorce, lost her job, her home, and has had to manage a debilitating illness. Yet, this woman’s spirit still lit up the room.

Her story, unfortunately, is not uncommon. Yet her inner strength and resilience is one that boggles the mind. I often encounter mothers who have lost children due to the system, to an ex-spouse, to domestic violence, sometimes even to death. As a mother myself, nothing cuts deeper then the idea of losing my child.

The depth of human spirit that can resurrect a joyful soul out of the ashes of loss is dumbfounding. What is just as exceptional is the willingness to step out again in relationship. Our mentees have all experienced losses (mentors too!), yet they continue to take steps forward. Opening up to a new mentor relationship is an act of faith; it opens the mentee up to potential hurt or disappointment that accompanies any new relationship. They are “putting themselves out there” relationally: they are vulnerable. They are taking a risk.

This mentee freely admitted that her trials are not yet over. Her son is back in her home, thanks to support and advocacy from her referring agency and others; however, her housing is still unstable and employment is a question as her illness has barred her from moving forward.

Our mentees are invited to share their goals with their new mentor during their first meeting. Many of them hesitate, desiring to focus on the relationship and building trust first. However, this particular mentee filled up the page with goals…and with hope. As she moves towards stability, with her mentor guiding and supporting her along the way, I will fervently enjoy watching her blossom. I share her faith and hope in the future.

Trusted Mentors is the only agency focusing 100% on mentoring adults to combat homelessness and to improve outcomes for young adults aging out of foster care and for individuals exiting the criminal justice system. If you are interested in being a volunteer mentor, please visit our website at to complete a mentor application.