Occupation: AVP at PRMS, a High End Personal Insurance Brokerage Firm
Length of Match: 14 months
Favorite movie? Grease!
Book? All-time favorite book is Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison!
Favorite activity in your spare time? Working out! I love spinning and boxing. Recently, I have gotten into CrossFit. I also like to cook!
I grew up in Mendham, New Jersey – about 50 minutes from Hoboken. I had been living in the city for 4 years and the last year I was not feeling the city life any longer. I had a college friend that was looking for a roommate in Hoboken. I decided to give it a shot. I immediately fell in love and should have done it years ago!
When I first moved to Hoboken from NYC I wanted to get more involved in my new community. I have always loved working with kids, especially the high school age group. I was looking for a program that was consistent, so you could form “True” relationships. I did a google search and stumbled upon TRUE Mentors. After reading their mission statement, I knew I had found my match!
There are so many great moments as a mentor! I have to say, I love the texts I get here and there. That’s how I know it’s a TRUE relationship. Mikey feels as if he can contact me whenever he wants. Sometimes its to share a good grade he received. Most recently he sent me a picture of his new hair cut!
What I enjoy most about being a mentor are the relationships I have formed, not only with Mikey, but also with the others teens and the other mentors. Since we meet every week, we end up spending a lot of time together. You become involved in each other’s lives. It has been wonderful watching the teens grow. I also really enjoyed taking our mentees to Rutgers. I had such a great college experience and for many of our students, they are first generation to even consider college and often their parents don’t have too much insight and guidance. Walking around the campus with them and sharing stories from my college experience was a blast. I could tell it really got them excited about the entire process.
Mikey’s strength is empathy. He is sensitive to other people’s emotions and feelings. He also never has a bad attitude, no matter what stresses are going on in his own personal life. Its amazing to be 17 years old and already have that figured out.
The teen internship program meets each Wednesday for career & college readiness workshops. We always spend the first 10-15 minutes to catch up. We talk about what has gone on over the past week, friends, family, school, etc. I have gained his trust over the past 14 months, so sometimes there is a lot to talk about! I have also told Mikey about some of the things that are going on in my life. Every relationship goes two ways, and by sharing a little bit about my life he has opened up a lot about his. I would say the biggest struggle in the beginning is what Mikey is best at now: communication. Which is a huge win! In the beginning of our relationship he was not very proactive in informing me or his business on when he could not make it to something. We had a meeting, set expectations, said it was okay to miss things when you have other obligations, you just have to tell us. Nowadays I get texts days in advance letting me know when he cannot make it. I am super proud of him!
This TRUE relationship has impacted my life so much! My entire family knows about Mikey. My entire office knows about Mikey. All of my friends know about Mikey. I think that is saying something! Its been really refreshing to look at life from the eyes of a high schooler (sometimes, maybe a little scary!).
Volunteering at TRUE Mentors is so rewarding! These kids need someone they can trust. High school is such a difficult time. You feel like an adult, but all the adults in your life keep telling you you are still a kid, BUT you are about to graduate and turn 18 and actually become an adult. It can be very confusing! I try to remember, that I am not their parent, I am not their teacher. I am not there to lecture them. I am there to be an older sister/older person in their life that they can trust and come to about anything.
In 10 words or less, describe your mentoring experience..
Fun and rewarding! Makes me smile.