AUSTIN, TEXAS - Akins High School 5-30-08I will celebrate my one-year mentoring anniversary with Jennifer this month. Our relationship has been incredibly rewarding. It is such a pleasure and very energizing to be around Jennifer! When I became a mentor, I thought I would have to plan fun things all the time. But I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what we’re doing. It is the little things, like driving around and listening to music, that lead to the best conversations. My favorite memory with Jennifer was this past spring when we were driving and we got caught in a terrible rain storm. We took cover in a Dairy Queen and had ice cream sundaes while we waited it out. That was a really fun time! My relationship with Jennifer has reminded me of the importance of spending quality time with others and that carving out a little bit of time with no distractions can go a long way.

Jennifer is so inspiring. She has been through so much, but she keeps a positive attitude through it all. Not every day of our relationship is perfect, but I know that just being there to support Jennifer, to listen and provide encouragement, can really help her.

I know our relationship has made a big difference for Jennifer, too. At a recent AFC Mentoring group event, Jennifer said, “My favorite memory with AFC Mentoring is today, it’s great to see all of you guys. It is great to feel cared about.” Jennifer always expresses appreciation for the time we spend together and it feels really good to see what a difference it can make to give someone a bit of your time.

By Emily, Mentor