Emeritus Friendships Alumni Profile: Robbi Coleman

My involvement with Friends for Youth began in 1997 when I was matched with Jackie, a fun-loving, capable, and considerate eighth grader. My Friendship with Jackie continues to this day, as does my support of Friends for Youth. I’ve been a Senior Friend, volunteer, ambassador, recruiter, and donor. 

I was an enthusiastic Senior Friend, committed to supporting Jackie in achieving her goal: high school graduation in 2001. For me, being a Senior Friend has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It was easy to give my time to mentoring because I saw results of the investment, both in Jackie and myself. I loved that Jackie was “up” for anything and that often she suggested activities and outings that we could share. I gladly accepted the challenge of keeping her interested in school. 

One of my favorite memories is of a Saturday afternoon selecting produce that could be used in a photo essay about geometry in nature—laughing as we considered the shapes of peppers, tomatillos, lemons, squash, and melons. The effort paid off: In her junior year Jackie achieved a personal-best GPA, was elected class vice president, and was selected for her school’s leadership program. I was thrilled that Jackie expanded her ideas about what was possible for her! 
After Jackie’s graduation from high school, I moved to the East Bay. Despite this, Jackie and I have still kept in contact and see each other regularly. And even though I live and work on the other side of the Bay, I discovered another way to support the work of Friends for Youth. I was surprised to learn that much of the planning for fundraising events (such as the Fashion Show and Golf Tournament) is done by conference call! I found that I could help on a committee from the relative comfort of my office. 

Over the years Jackie and I have told our story at Friends for Youth celebrations, fundraisers, and recruiting events. Ambassadorship is important to the organization—it can bring new mentors, donors, and supporters. Jackie and I continue to tell our story in the hope that it motivates others to get involved. 
I believe that Friends for Youth is doing vital work for our community. Individuals and communities benefit. I’ve benefited. I’ll continue to give money and time because I believe that involvement in Friends for Youth for both Junior and Senior Friends is transformative.

First published in the July 2013 Emeritus Friendships Bulletin


Top Ad 728x90