I wasn’t really sure how to start this, but here we go!
I am a newly minted mentor to a refugee gal through a program called GirlFoward!
I’m so excited about this new adventure in my life as it speaks to one of the biggest things that make my heart go “pitter patter” – kids!
Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to work with kids. Career-wise, I wanted to be a high school math teacher. However, when I graduated college, I knew that I could do so much more. Fast forward almost ten years and I now work in tech, have worked with youth in my church, via tutoring, and now mentoring!
When people say they love kids, typically they’re referring to smaller children. While I love the actual babies, my heart skips a beat for kids in middle school and high school. These can be some of the toughest kids to work with due to so many changes – identity, puberty, peer pressure, career, school, etc.
I’ve worked with kids from all walks of life, except for this – refugee/displacement individuals. As someone who was born in America, I am used to many freedoms that other countries do not offer to their citizens. I’m able to express myself freely via my speech or the way that I dress. Something so simple as driving is a freedom that I am given, but say that to someone in Saudi Arabia (although I believe the ban was just lifted about a month or so ago).
So when the opportunity came up for me to become a mentor to a girl who is a refugee, I jumped on it. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to relate being that we’re in my home country. But, I viewed it as an opportunity to learn about someone else’s experiences. Even though it’ll be a challenge, my main goal is to just show support to my gal. I want her to know that she can count on me to listen and be her friend. There may be some things outside of my wheelhouse that I can’t control, but I will try my best to be there for her.
It’s moments like these that I love because they force me to be outside of myself – to put myself in someone else’s shoes. I want to use this opportunity to learn more about myself as a person and use that experience to continue my journey in becoming the positive catalyst in people’s lives.
I will leave the site below so you can read all about GirlForward, but rest assured, this won’t be the last time you hear about it!