Meet Vanessa – November Mentor of the Month
Let us introduce you to Vanessa, a remarkable mentor who is making an impact on the lives of children through her dedicated volunteer work with BBBSWR. Vanessa’s journey with us is a testament to the power of mentoring, community engagement, and the profound influence that one person can have on a child’s life.
Her diverse interests include a passion for cooking, a love for literature, and an unbridled enthusiasm for spending quality time with her 4 and a half-year-old granddaughter, Iris. Whenever the weather permits, Vanessa can be found immersing herself in outdoor activities, reveling in the beauty of nature.
The Motivation to Make a Difference
Vanessa’s journey with BBBSWR was sparked by a deep-rooted family connection. She heard about us through her uncle, a dedicated Big Brother, whose commitment to making a difference in a child’s life inspired Vanessa to explore volunteering with our organization.
As a volunteer, Vanessa actively participates in the In School Mentoring program at BBBSWR. Her role centers around forming meaningful connections with children during their school day. Vanessa embarked on her volunteer journey with us last school year and eagerly awaits the opportunity for a new match this year, recognizing the transformative potential of such connections.
Vanessa’s motivation to volunteer was driven by a simple yet powerful desire: to be a positive influence in a child’s life. Despite not having children of her own, Vanessa keenly recognizes the profound impact she can make by sharing her time, experiences, and care with a child who may greatly benefit from her mentorship.
For Vanessa, mentoring isn’t just a responsibility; it’s a profound source of inspiration. It’s the chance to witness her mentee’s growth and development throughout the year. Through mentoring, she can explore the interests and passions of her mentee, providing guidance and encouragement along the way.
The Importance of Community Engagement
Vanessa’s commitment to volunteerism extends beyond her work with BBBSWR. In the past, she has contributed her time to the Food Bank, actively participating in sorting food and creating food baskets for those in need.
Vanessa firmly believes in the significance of community involvement. She understands that it takes a collective effort to nurture well-rounded individuals and takes pride in playing a role in shaping a child’s life within her community. She recognizes that being part of a community means contributing to the growth and well-being of its youngest members.
A Day in the Life of a Mentor
What does an average day look like when Vanessa spends time with her mentees? Her approach is simple but effective. She seeks out activities that align with her mentee’s interests and preferences. Whether it’s painting birdhouses, engaging in a game of dominoes, crafting slime, or exploring the art of Origami, Vanessa’s goal is to inspire and motivate her mentee to discover their passions and develop new skills.
What Vanessa values most about volunteering is the connection that develops between her and her mentee. Over time, she witnesses her mentee opening up, revealing their true selves, and building trust in their relationship. The mentor-mentee bond grows stronger with every shared experience.
One of Vanessa’s most cherished memories as a mentor was creating a heartfelt Mother’s Day gift with her mentee. Together, they painted a wooden container and planted flowers, crafting a special and meaningful gift for the mentee’s mother. This simple yet profound act encapsulates the essence of mentoring: nurturing creativity, thoughtfulness, and the joy of giving.
A Journey of Personal Growth
Through her volunteer work, Vanessa has had the privilege of observing the impact of her mentorship on her mentees. She observes them becoming more confident in trying new things, knowing that failure is not met with disappointment but with support and encouragement. Vanessa witnesses their personal growth as they tackle challenges and develop essential life skills.
Through her volunteer work, Vanessa has gained valuable skills, with patience standing out prominently. She discovered a wellspring of patience she never knew she had. She waits patiently as her mentees explore and experiment during activities, intervening only when they seek assistance.
For those considering volunteering but unsure of what to expect, Vanessa offers a resounding piece of advice: Give it a try. She encourages potential volunteers to take that step, assuring them that the experience will exceed their expectations. Vanessa’s journey is a testament to the personal satisfaction and fulfillment that come from being part of a child’s life and making a lasting impact.
Vanessa, your dedication to mentoring is truly inspiring, and we want to express our heartfelt gratitude. Your commitment to nurturing and guiding young hearts has a lasting impact that extends far beyond words. Your kindness and compassion embody the essence of what it means to be a mentor, and we are immensely grateful for your unwavering support. Thank you for being an exceptional role model and a beacon of hope for the children you mentor.