Occupation: General Manager for a Building Material Distribution Company
Years Served at TRUE Mentors: 3 (I think)
Favorite Movie? My favorite movie is Shawshank Redemption.
When did you first get involved with TRUE Mentors and why?
I had lived in Hoboken for a couple years and was looking for a way to get more involved in the community. When I lived in South Carolina I volunteered with a kids after school program so I began searching online for a similar program in Hoboken or in a surrounding city.
What program do you volunteer for and what was your experience like?
My True Mentors involvement started with volunteering at Clubs and today I am involved with both clubs and mentoring. Overall, the experience has been amazing. I enjoy the weekly interaction with the kids and love to see their progress as they grow up. It’s very rewarding to think that you played a small part in someone’s maturation and personal growth.
What is your favorite TRUE Mentors moment?
It’s so hard to choose just one. There have been some more major events that I’ve enjoyed, like the production of the musical Annie, or kayaking in Hoboken, or one of the Red Bulls Soccer games, or our field trip to the Central Park Zoo. However, my favorite memories are the unexpected more simple ones: like playing tag with the kids on the playground, or watching them help one another, or when you think they will hate an activity but instead they love it and are all engaged. I remember a specific moment this year in class when we were scheduled to play “I went on a picnic and I brought…” game. There were about 8-10 kids ages 7-10 and I thought it would be hard to get their attention and didn’t think they’d participate. Instead, they were completely into it, AND very good at it. We went around the circle 3 times with each child repeating what was said before them and adding a new item. After we were done, I said to myself “did that just happen”? It’s those moments that keep me coming back week after week.
How has being a part of the TRUE Mentors’ community changed you? Challenged you? Rewarded you? I’ve been encouraged by both the children and the other giving volunteers. There are so many other adults and Steven’s students who have volunteered their time for the good of the organization and to better the community. Hoboken and the surrounding cities have so many selfless people who put others first and that has inspired me to push myself more in my volunteerism.
I think it has made me a better member of the community. One of my favorite things is seeing the kids outside of class when we’re both walking down the street. For some reason in their mind, they think volunteers live somewhere else when in reality most of us either live in Hoboken or a surrounding town. We are just regular people, just like them and I think those type of interactions of breaking down race, affluence, age, etc is encouraging.
In 10 words or less, describe the volunteer experience at TRUE Mentors. Rewarding! Awesome Kids, Inspiring Volunteers, bettering individuals and the community