Mentor Story Project: Board Member Rob

This is the first installment of a series called the Mentor Story Project. Each week a new Friends for Youth champion will be featured with his or her mentoring story. Some stories are about mentoring with Friends for Youth, others are about informal mentoring experiences.

Who Did I Mentor?

My name: Rob.

Years with Friends for Youth: First matched in December 1989.

Name of Junior Friend: Marvin.

Years we have been friends: We stayed together for about 6-7 and lost touch after that.  We reconnected a few years ago.

Where we met: Our first meeting was with Program Coordinator Mia Keating who matched us at a Denny's in Daly City. Our first outing was to Alcatraz.

Age difference 13 years.

What we liked to do together:  It has been a while since we were first matched, but we went to the movies, swimming (taught him how to dive into a pool), made dinner at my place.  I brought him to an Oracle-sponsored food sort and even had him come to meet with Oracle employees when we had on campus recruiting events for potential Senior Friends.

Something I won't forget: Marvin mentioned at an Oracle recruiting event that my spending time with him saved his life, but I wouldn't say that; all we did was just spend time together doing things we both enjoyed.

Most important thing I learned: My original thought was that we could focus on his studies and be able to get him moving in a good  direction toward turning his school work around so he would go to high school and then, hopefully college. It turns out that wasn't as important as just being together on a regular basis.  Eventually he was incorporated into my family and although I spoke limited Spanish at that time, felt much closer to his mother as well.  I definitely got much more out of being a Senior Friend than I ever thought possible.

"Friends for Youth does an amazing job of matching people from different worlds and creating an environment where both parties are destined to succeed."


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