Zachary & Mark

Zachary and Mark love spending time outdoors – interviewing local game wardens, exploring architecture and design, and even Tae Kwon Do! Mark loves to spend time with Zachary; he listens, helps him work through any issues he may be dealing with, and enjoys being Zachary’s friend.

Name of Mentee: Zachary
Name of Mentor: Mark Billian
Mentoring Program: Girls/Boyz First Mentoring
Program Type: Community-Based
Length of Their Match: 2 years
Age of Mentee: 11

About This Match:

The Mentee

With the help of his mentor, Zachary has been able to explore a wide array of interests including building an outdoor nature observation structure, interviewing local game wardens, exploring architecture and design, working with therapy animals, and most recently studying Tae Kwon Do. Zachary and his mentor met just two months before the pandemic shut down schools in 2020. Undaunted, they have done a bunch of exploring and had a lot of fun together. Most recently, they both enrolled in a Tae Kwon Do class to build strength, resilience and confidence. Addressing Zachary’s early childhood trauma involving dogs, Mark connected with a local community member who has a therapy dog and other animals on her micro-farm and homestead. Now Zachary regularly spends time with dogs, learning basic skills for handling and directing dogs, as well as visiting with horses and chickens. It’s been wonderful to see Zachary’s confidence grow.

The Mentor

Mark and Zachary are well matched, both very sweet, gentle and inquisitive. Mark has really enjoyed having a young person in his life to spend time with, share and explore interests, and having someone to look out for. He is deeply concerned about the challenges faced by young people today—whether it be childhood trauma, bullying or social challenges due to the pandemic—and finds it very fulfilling to be Zachary’s friend and help him explore his interests.

Zachary and Mark were honored by Comcast and MENTOR Vermont as 2022 Vermont Ambassadors of Mentoring!