Mary, the grandmother of Jeremiah, a mentee, was singing praises about Jeremiah’s mentor. She told me how the mentor took Jeremiah to get a battery for her smoke alarm and installed it. She also shared how his mentor graciously worked on her backyard. She made a point to let us know that the mentor had Jeremiah doing most of the work – but that his mentor gave him direction and time. “Jeremiah really likes his mentor!” Jeremiah loves the fact that his mentor spends so much time with him. Perhaps it may seem like mentors aren’t connecting with their mentees at times, but when you are not looking, his grandmother gets to see the smile on his face and the confidence in his walk. A story of love!
Elijah, a 14 year old boy, continues to impress my friends and our acquaintances with his maturity. On the Cast Hope fishing trip, our fishing guide commented on his goodness after spending 5 hours on the Yuba River. My family and friends at church were also excited to see him paint alongside them on a service project in Del Paso Heights. He worked hard and never complained or asked to stop from 10 am till 3:00 pm. He is becoming comfortable around different people. A story of transformation!
After understanding the STS goal setting process, my mentee, Chou, stared at the area outside of his house and decided to take responsibility for the “garden” strip under eve in front. Working side by side, we cleared, planted (gardenias and azaleas), put in drip irrigation and bark. Chou did much of the shovel work, cut and glued the PVC and helped with weed shield. He seems very proud of his garden. It took us 4 hours! We finished in rain and dark but he kept working to accomplish his goal! A story of success!
Jorge, my mentee, came to me after he and I had been matched for about 6 months and asked if it was possible for his girlfriend, Arianna, to get a mentor with STS. I told Jorge that I would look into it but that right now we only have men serving boys. I was curious why Jorge made this request so I asked him why. Jorge said his girlfriend noticed the improvement in his grades and wanted help from a mentor to get her grades up. Jorge also explained that her grades have slowly declined as her freshman year has progressed. I asked Jorge “Does she think all I do is tutor you?” Jorge said he wasn’t sure but that she had seen Jorge’s grades improve from a .16 GPA to a 3.0 GPA on his progress reports and she wants to be a part of it. A story of success and hope!
Yesterday Tammy met with a single mother who had recently been forced out of her home and currently living between family members. School started and one of her sons couldn’t go to school because the only shoes he had access to were flip flops and cleats to play baseball in. Everything else was in storage. When I called the mom to ask her if any of her sons needed shoes, she burst into tears. “Oh my God, I can’t believe you just asked me that. I took my kids to school today and one of them wasn’t allowed in his classroom because I don’t have proper shoes for him to wear!” I asked her to bring her son and meet someone who wanted to bless her. Tammy and the mom met, as well as the young man out of school. Tammy gave the two boys their new shoes and we can only imagine the emotional exchange that went on between mother, sons and someone who cares enough to share. A story of blessing!
Rose – Since implementing the tools I learned in the MHM classes, my son and I are able to communicate clearly, and more regularly. He is comfortable talking to me about things; whereas before he would shut himself up in the room, go outside to play with friends, or act out in subtle ways to communicate his frustrations. A story about growth
Adam – From the very beginning it was clear that Adam was attending Freedom Hall for a purpose. Adam is fairly small, physically and his voice is gentle and sometimes described as squeaky. It took several weeks of attendance before Adam began to open up to his peers and the staff at Freedom Hall because he would often be made fun of in school. Over the course of time Adam not only began to open up to his peers but became a natural leader. During our team building activities Adam emerges as the individual who pulls his peers together to accomplish their task. A story about maturing
Ericka – My son has adjusted very well to being in a different State. He has achieved honor roll at his Middle School with a 3.2 GPA. We both continue to communicate with our chosen mentor; whom we respect and love dearly. I thank all of the STS Family members for all of your love and support. Thank you so much. I love the entire program – the Moms Helping Moms each second Saturday – the closeness of the entire STS Family – they are genuinely concerned about the uplifting, elevating and success of our fatherless sons in our community! Keep doing what you do! A story of success!
Isaiah (Mentee since 2007) – According to his mother, within weeks Isaiah’s attitude improved and his self-confidence soared. Through participating in STS workshops and activities, he gained the tools to deal with his anger and the challenges he faced. With improved confidence and STS tutoring, Isaiah’s grades improved through 7th and 8th grade to a 3.6 average. After graduating from high school in four years, Isaiah moved on to Sacramento City College. A story of transformation!
Semaj (Mentee since 2007) – I was never judged when I came here. You are not judged for what you did or what you do. They would stand by me anyway. I didn’t realize what I was missing. If I want to lead, I have to learn to follow. They taught me to understand (others) before I can be understood. I learned about integrity and what it means to be a real man. Besides my mom, Shoulder To Shoulder is the most consistent thing I’ve had in my life. I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for Freedom Hall. I want to help someone else so they can see how it feels and then they can help someone else, and we can change everything. A story of transformation!Read more