By: Sarah N (TM Board Member)
When I moved to Hoboken, NJ ten years ago from a small town in North Carolina, I knew that in order to make this Mile Square City my home, I needed to find a place to serve the community. I began attending Hoboken Grace Community Church and shortly thereafter a new friend mentioned she needed help wrapping Christmas presents for kids in our community. Little did I know that was the beginning of a ten-year journey with a beautiful organization called TRUE Mentors!
Being involved in my community wasn’t something that was foreign to me, but working with TRUE Mentors has been unlike any other experience I’ve had previously. TRUE Mentors focuses on unearthing the excellence within the youth in our community. Helping these kids reach their potential was something I wanted to get involved in and champion.
With a full-time job, after-hours volunteering is all I have been able to do, but it turns out that was exactly what TRUE Mentors needed! From that first day wrapping presents onward, I rolled up my sleeves and offered my time for small events, office prep, and truly any behind-the-scenes task that was needed. In the last decade, I have helped celebrate and plan anniversaries, mentor matches, Hoboken Scavenger Hunts, Hoboken Games, Chili Cook-Off’s, Namaste and Rose’ nights… and the list goes on!
Watching our kids share their talents, have authentic conversations about what is happening in our country and in their lives, encourage each other, and roll up their own sleeves to serve our community is a gift. I don’t want to hoard this gift, but share it with anyone who wants to make a difference in our community. The TRUE Mentors story is one of love and light. To get to know this growing generation and support them is one of the great highlights of my life.
One of my favorite memories has been working with my Teen Intern, Hope. I had the honor of hosting her at Hoboken Grace Community Church for almost 3 years. I was able to watch Hope grow from a timid and unsure teen into a confident, strong and loving steward of the talents she has been given within the length of her internship. On her last day in our office, we surprised her with a party and a laptop for college which was a gift for us to be able to do. I will NEVER forget our special bond and our time together where I got to see her thrive, flourish and grow.
The best part of TRUE Mentors? Everyone who works with or participates in TRUE Mentors also has its own memories that last a lifetime! It is my heart’s desire that I can share the TRUE Mentors story with every person in our county and help our youth truly know the excellence that lives inside of them. I have thoroughly enjoyed every single hour and minute put towards cheering on our youth and the volunteers who help us reach our goals. I am honored to serve alongside board members and volunteers as well as incredible community partners that see the value in our heart and programs.
Martin Luther King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” What would it look like to put a pause on the busyness of our lives and answer this question? What am I doing to help others? If you need a place to begin, I implore you to come check out TRUE Mentors and help us build the next ten years of unearthing the excellence in the lives of our youth.