There is nothing more powerful than seeing two people connect in a new friendship. This past week I had the opportunity to see this happen a few times. It is that time of year again, to begin new mentoring groups. This year, I am facilitating a lunch group with young men during my lunch period and working with four young ladies as mentors for four of my female students after school through a program from N.C. State called Read to Lead.
On Wednesday, I first realized how powerful it is to allow sixth graders to begin thinking about who they are and why they are where they are. This week we talked about the first Habitude, virtually it is talking about looking into the future more than focusing on the past. It was incredible to hear the young men talk about how victories that they had celebrated and then think about what they are doing towards building into their futures. Immediately they were voicing their hopes and dreams to essentially a stranger, but this person would no longer be a stranger. Friendships were formed in the short twenty minutes we were there. It was amazing to see kids who i thought might have not cared much about school to mention the hopes and their dreams. It reminded me to keep stretching them. It will be amazing to see how different the young men will be in eight short weeks.
On Thursday, each of my four female students anxiously awaited the time that they would meet their mentor. This is HUGE, I mean can you even imagine a college student coming and hanging out with you for an hour and a half every week? I think this might be one of the most unique experiences I have ever had in mentoring! The ladies had an excellent time talking about their fears, failures, hopes, and dreams. It was inspiring, as I was able to just facilitate and eavesdrop in on their empowering conversations. It was powerful and just about brought tears to me eyes, a fruition of something that I have wanted to see happening for a long time. Obviously with having an hour and a half, they were able to dive much deeper into the content and really begin to dig away at some of the half-truths that they believe about themselves.
I am so proud of both groups and amazed at the level of vulnerability that they shared with each other. I can’t wait to share what will happen in the coming weeks and see how all of our lives change from being connected and caring for each other at a deeper level.
Do you have this in your life? If not, consider finding someone to take to coffee this week. You may surprised who can be a good friend. It may be a retired neighbor, a person new to town, the cashier that serves you every week at the grocery store, or even an existing acquaintance who you never considered before. Connection is essential to our health as human beings.