Mentee Becomes Mentor

An organizational milestone for Friends for Youth, the first mentee becomes a mentor in 2016

Pictured above are the original photos archived by Friends for Youth of the first meeting between all mentor and mentee matches.

In 1998, 13-year-old Juan found out about Friends for Youth from his friend who was in the program. He was excited to get involved and went to a counselor at Kennedy Middle School to learn more.  Juan had limited resources at home, and was struggling to make friends, pass his classes and improve his English language skills. “I felt like I was missing out on a lot and there was so much to do and see.” 

A few months later, Juan met his mentor, Trish.

“She took me places that I had never been before. We went to Six Flags, we went kayaking, horseback riding, and I visited her at her job, which I thought was cool. She was a DEA Agent at San Francisco Airport. We also watched [her husband’s bike] races.”

Juan attributes his motivation to be healthy, improved social skills, and increased resiliency to the experience. He also said Trish helped him with homework and staff connected him to tutoring services.

He became the first in his family to go to college and graduated with a degree in Child Development. He has since worked as a preschool teacher and is currently in school to become a social worker. Juan reconnected with Friends for Youth for a school project and afterward felt compelled to become a mentor.  “I remembered Trish talking about her job and how she was married. If she made time for me, then I can make time for someone else.”

Juan is now a positive role model for his mentee, Mateo. “It makes me feel good when I expose him to something new… His dad approached me and said I just want to thank you for what you’re doing for [us].”

He recently found Trish on Facebook and exchanged thanks and memories. “I posted a picture of Mateo and myself at the Giants game and she replied that I had made her morning that I was now volunteering.”

Mentoring transforms the lives of youth, families, friends and communities.
Help us expand the ripple effect of mentoring today!


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