10 Years, 10 Stories: Mentoring changes the way we see things
Nearly all students who participate in Be a Middle School Mentor have a 90% school attendance rate.
In sixth grade, Kalil was rowdy, rambunctious and unsettled. While still a lively student today, he learned a lot about respect and how to behave from his mentor, Vann Williams.
“Mr. Vann helped me think about things differently. He helped me get along with my teachers and classmates,” Kalil said.
After their first year together – filled with personal conversations, friendly competitions, educational games and lessons – Vann noticed significant behavioral changes. Kalil was calmer; he seemed more relaxed and adjusted to the environment.
Vann also helped Kalil set goals, and they worked together to figure out how Kalil could attain them. “He’s considering being a video game designer when he grows up, so we looked at what he would need to do to reach that goal,” Vann shared. “And I think he saw that if he worked hard, he could do it.”
Understanding the responsibility of family and a full-time job, Vann encourages other adults to mentor with United Way. “Kids in our community need positive role models to look to for guidance,” he added.
United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania is honored to celebrate 10 impactful years of our Be a Middle School Mentor program. You can make a difference for local kids by becoming a mentor today.