On Susan Stauber’s first day with United Way’s Be a Middle School Mentor program, she met Jahane. After several sessions with little response from her mentee, Susan questioned returning many times. But she stuck with it.
“I thought to myself, I’m going to go back there every week and try another trick out of my bag,” said Susan.
An entire year went by with very little success, but Susan persevered and came back for Jahane’s 7th grade year. She came to learn Jahane had witnessed her grandmother’s murder at age 11 and was experiencing immense grief. But with every week that Susan returned, Jahane’s opened up a little more. Soon enough, Susan noticed stronger reading skills, better attendance, and a young woman speaking up for herself and getting involved at school.
“She came into 6th grade with no confidence at all, so we worked together to build her confidence,” Susan said. “Just being there for them may be the biggest thing they need.”
Jahane has since graduated high school and attends beauty school. Susan continues her relationship with Jahane, meeting for lunch weekly and chatting on the phone often.
You can help kids build confidence through mentoring, too. Learn more or volunteer today.