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Mentors Build Trust And Confidence In Kids

February 17, 2012 1:24 pm Category: News Leave a comment A+ / A-

This article first appeared in the February 2nd, 2012 edition of the Vermont Standard.
By Paul Regan
Special To The Standard
Who says you don’t have enough time to give back to your community?
If you find yourself thinking this way, you might want to have a chat with 60–year-old Dick Tracy, a businessman and native Vermonter who resides in Sharon. In addition to being self-employed and having three children and a wife, Dick also has a friendship with a child who greatly needs him. He contacted Windsor County Partners one day to express interest in mentoring a child.
Tracy was paired with Mack, a local kid who liked to play basketball, play golf, and try new things. New things are a lot of fun as Tracy sees it “I think we both learn a lot about ourselves by trying new things. I’ve learned a lot from Mack about nature. This past summer while attending The Windsor County Partner Bar – B -Q all-partner event and Annual Meeting, Mack pointed out a paper wasp nest and how the wasp goes about making the nest. We had a great time. And you know, I think Mack learns a lot from me just based on the interests and experiences I’ve had in my life.” Tracy and Mack brought their love of sports off the grass playing fields to the smaller, but much more demanding in some ways, playing field of the chessboard and now they both play chess with an “I Take No Prisoners” attitude.
As Tracy sees it, “being friends with Mack is not hard.  I just have to remember to relate to him at his level, while trying to help him grow up.”
January Was National Mentoring Month
Most successful people say they had mentors along the way who guided and encouraged them. The Harvard Mentoring Project has been conducting interviews and collecting written essays in which prominent people from various fields talk about their mentors. Maya Angelou cites a grade school teacher who sparked her love of poetry; Quincy Jones points to the powerful influence of musician Ray Charles; and Sting credits a teacher whose energy inspired a lifelong passion for learning. Other participants include President Bill Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Cal Ripken, Jr., and Tom Brokaw.
Who Mentored
Colin Powell?
Colin L. Powell was sworn in as the 65th Secretary of State on January 20, 2001. Secretary Powell is the founding chairman of America’s Promise — The Alliance for Youth, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing people from every sector of American life to build the character and competence of young people.
Secretary Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he rose to the rank of 4-star General. He was Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs from December 1987 to January 1989. His last assignment, from October 1, 1989, to September 30, 1993, was as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Department of Defense. During this time, he oversaw 28 crises, including Operation Desert Storm in the victorious 1991 Persian Gulf War.
Powell said of his experience, “How do children learn, how do children gain expectations to put in their hearts and souls? They get it from the adults in their lives. In my case, I got it from my parents, I got it from my aunts, I got it from my uncles, I got it from my minister, I got it from my teachers, I got it from a lot of people. And if these people had not been in my life when I was a child, I don’t know where I would have ended up. They kept me in place, they encouraged me, and they gave me a sense of shame.
All of us, as citizens of this great country, have an obligation to not only raise our own children in this manner so that they can be a great new generation; we have an obligation to do this for all of our children, especially those children who don’t have this family structure, or whose family structure needs some help. And that’s why mentoring is so important. That’s why each and everyone one of us who has some time, some talent, and a willingness to get in the life of a child will volunteer to do that. It doesn’t mean that you become their parent; it just means you’re there for them. You check on them, see how they’re doing, you encourage them, you give them your experience, you take them places. You just enter their life and help them, help them deal with life. The beautiful part of mentoring is it’s not just what you do for that child; it’s what that child does for you. You will be changed by this experience; you will gain as much as that child will.”

Mentors Build Trust And Confidence In Kids Reviewed by on . This article first appeared in the February 2nd, 2012 edition of the Vermont Standard. By Paul Regan Special To The Standard Who says you don’t have enough time This article first appeared in the February 2nd, 2012 edition of the Vermont Standard. By Paul Regan Special To The Standard Who says you don’t have enough time Rating:

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