Several of our Cornerstone Kids and Isaiah 43 participants are without mentors because we need more male volunteers. Youth in mentoring relationships have better attitudes about school, fewer instances of drug and alcohol use, improved relationships with family, and fewer absences from school. You do not need to change anyone’s life to be a mentor; all you have to do is care.
Kevin Sherman, Cornerstone Kids Mentor
Growing up, Kevin did not have positive male guidance. He volunteers because he does not want teens to take the same path he did and emphasizes the importance of any parental figures already in his mentees’ lives. “A lot of my kids only have a mom, and she doesn’t want them living the street life. I tell my kids that their mom would do anything to keep them safe and happy, so they should honor her with respect and love. Let her be the reason you make better choices,” says Kevin.
Kevin attends his mentees’ games and school events and jokingly challenges them to “beat the old man” at a round of basketball because many of his mentees have not had joyful experiences with father figures. He shares, “I don’t want to be one more person who disappears in their life. When they know you’re not just spending time with them because you signed up for a program, they know you truly care for them. All my life, I was a taker. Now, I get to give back and have an impact on the direction of young people’s lives. This work has been truly rewarding.”
Greg Romig, Isaiah 43 Mentor
Greg has been working with his mentee on his future plans by focusing on Wendell’s strengths – the arts – and is introducing him to professional graphic designers. Wendell and Greg made a mock business plan for a graphic design company that makes football jerseys and enrolled Wendell in a glassblowing and metalwork camp. Greg shares, “Last week I took Wendell to see the sculpture garden, ride bikes, and eat snowballs. We talked about which of the sculptures he could make and adjust in the workshop. It seemed like an average outing I’ve done countless times with my kids, but on the drive home, Wendell told me that it was the best thing he’s ever done.”
Greg has seen a marked change in Wendell’s excitement about school and an increase in his confidence after learning and trying new things like cooking with Greg. He says, “I’ve been in Wendell’s life for over a year. That consistency is building his ability to trust people despite other experiences he may have had.” Greg has been blessed in his life and wants to share those blessings with others. This program is an opportunity for mentors to cultivate their relationship with God and fulfill their own vocation.
How to Get Involved
Thinking about volunteering as a mentor? Sign up at here or call Emily Stieber at 504-310-6960. Cornerstone Kids requires a year commitment of eight hours a month. Isaiah 43 requires that mentors be Christian and commit to four hours a month for a year.