Mentoring Matters Now More Than Ever!November 30, 2020 Annual Appeal, COVID-19, Giving Tuesday
Mentoring is more important now than ever. Youth of all ages are experiencing unprecedented levels of upheaval and social disconnection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this time of uncertainty, having a mentor can provide stability and connection that is essential for a young person’s ability to develop and thrive. Thanks to your contributions, MENTOR Vermont continues to support mentoring programs across Vermont so they can meet the needs of mentors, youth, and families in their local communities.
John Narowski and his 13-year-old mentee Caleb have been matched since 2017 through the Mentoring Project of the Upper Valley. From sledding to maple sugaring to just grabbing a bite to eat, these two have shared many adventures over the past three years.
Across the state, with the support of their local mentoring programs, mentors and mentees like John and Caleb are staying connected, providing a source of stability and a social outlet for both youth and adults amidst the uncertainty.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, their consistent presence in each other’s lives remains steady amidst all the other changes and unknowns.
“If I didn’t have John around, it definitely would be a lot harder,” says Caleb.
During the pandemic, the two of them have “met” at least 30 times. At first this meant checking in by phone, but they found new ways to connect remotely, like Zoom meetings and playing games of online chess.
“We were just trying to find ways to stay together and communicate but it was definitely odd not being able to go over there, hop in the car, and do something,” says John.
As restrictions were lifted over the summer, John and Caleb found that biking was a new activity they could enjoy together while staying outside and physically distanced. What started with a plan for one 20-minute bike ride has turned into several all-day adventures climbing up and down hills, swimming in the river, and exploring the back roads around Caleb’s home.
“If I didn’t have John around, I’d pretty much just be sitting at home all the time being sick and tired of sitting around,” says Caleb. “Mentoring has given me something to do, someone to hang out with.”
“I think having my mentoring relationship with Caleb has always added another dimension to my life and during COVID that’s been very, very good,” says John.
MENTOR Vermont works to ensure that youth mentoring programs across the state have the funding, support, and resources they need to foster life-changing relationships.
We cannot do this important work without your help.
Everyone, youth and adults alike, can benefit from having a mentoring relationship like John and Caleb’s.
Please consider making a generous donation this year to support MENTOR Vermont.
With gratitude for your support,
Chair, Board of Directors