August Volunteer Spotlight – Adam Nelik

adamName: Adam Nelik

Age: 31

Occupation: Product Specialist for Morgan Stanley Investment Management

Years Served at TRUE Mentors: 2 years and 2 months

Title: Relationship Manager

Favorite Quote: “Be the person who your dog thinks you are”


When did you first get involved with TRUE Mentors and why?
I first got involved with TRUE Mentors back in May of 2014 because I was looking for ways to give back in Hoboken.  I was open to anything really, as long as there was a general goal of helping others, and I was pretty open-minded about the entire process.  A good friend of mine was a part of the organization and immediately steered me towards it as a good match of what I wanted to do in terms of volunteer work, and I haven’t looked back since.


What program did you volunteer for and what was your experience like?
I volunteered to be a relationship manager because I wasn’t sure how long I would actually be living in Hoboken.  It’s such a transient city and I didn’t want to start a relationship as a mentor and then end up moving out a few months later, so being a relationship manager enabled me to still interact with the children and families, and help other mentors really build meaningful relationships.  I would like to think I like a little vicariously through the mentors I work with at times as well.


What is your favorite TRUE Mentors moment?
Relationships are hard.  They require a lot of time and energy if you really want to do it right and get the most out of it.  One of the first matches and mentors that I ever worked with was having a lot of trouble getting through to the mentee that he was working with, and was feeling down about the process.  After talking to the parent, I got nothing but a glowing report about the mentor, the relationship between the mentor and mentee, and how much the family valued the organization.  That moment is my favorite.  When you are frustrated and think you’re not having an impact, and then somehow you get the feedback that’s the complete opposite of that – it just reinvigorates you and at the end of the day that’s what it’s about.  In my long-winded answer, my favorite part is hearing from the children or parents that the program is making a meaningful impact in the lives of the children we work with.


How has being a part of the TRUE Mentors community changed you? Challenged you? Rewarded you?
It has changed me to take a good look in the mirror sometimes and to realize there’s so much more we can all do to give back and help others.  And I’m a firm believer in the karma multiplier effect where good deeds come back to you in multiples.  It has also challenged me to think about issues and problems in ways that I might never have had to deal with them, and learn about issues from totally different vantage points.  It makes you step outside your comfort zone sometimes, but I think that’s where growth happens.

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