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Stories / Youth

Building a relationship with silliness and slime

A mini-interview with a mentor and youth

January is National Mentoring Month, and we want to highlight the experiences our mentors and youth have while working together. We asked professional mentor Alex, and her youth Janae* (age 8) a few questions about their relationship and the time they spend together. Here’s what they had to say:

What is your favorite activity to do with your mentor/youth?

Janae: “Make [purple and red] slime with her!”

Alex: “I like when it’s warm outside and we get to go to the park. Janae always likes to go on the swings and we do Underdogs...you wanna [explain] what it is?”

Janae: “Alex has to swing us a little bit and then she holds onto the swing and then she goes under the swing!”

What is one important lesson that you’ve learned from your mentor/youth?

Janae: “Not to run…in the library, the store, and in [the Friends office].”

Alex: “Well, Janae, even in serious times, like doing homework or a project, always find silliness in it, and always makes me laugh, even when I’m not planning on laughing. [I’ll be] explaining something or focusing and she always says something that makes me laugh or catches me off guard. So to find the silliness in everything you do.”

If your mentor/youth were an animal, what animal would they be?

Janae: “A bunny! ‘Cause…she always hops around!”

Alex: “I would probably say a lion, because you are very protective of your friends and family, but very loving towards people as well, and very caring. You like to give people lots of hugs, but if people are being rude to people you care about, you protect them.”

Janae: “Mm-hmm!”

Alex and Janae have been together since Janae was in first grade. Janae will continue to learn from and build a close relationship with her professional mentor all the way through high school graduation.

*Name changed to protect the privacy of our youth.