Celebrating Mother’s Day Through Mentoring!
One of the joys I’ve had since starting Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program has been establishing relationships, and being inspired by so many great people in our community. One of our first volunteer mentors was Joyce Rogers. Joyce, is a Texas native, who has courageously been serving as an educator in the Chicago Public Schools for many years. It was great to have Joyce join our team, but it was even more powerful that Joyce always brought her daughter, Jileah. Jileah quickly jumped in and became a junior mentor while working with our younger girls. Jileah was just in eighth grade when she started mentoring with us, she’s now a graduating senior. Joyce and Jileah brought strong, loving, and committed energy to our group mentoring team, but also developed a stronger mother-daughter bond at the same time. So, j0in me in celebrating Mother’s Day by acknowledging this great mother-daughter mentoring team. Perhaps, we all in the mentoring community can use the Mother’s Day holiday to inspire and recruit other great mother-daughter teams to support our local youth mentoring efforts!
Meet Joyce, The Mom
When did you start mentoring/volunteering? 2009
What made you want to become a mentor? Being able to work with teenagers and to work with Kelly because I thought she had a wonderful idea to help girls with communication. I thought I could be an asset to her because I love to talk. I had a degree in journalism so that was one thing when you start talking about being a good communicator, I think that’s one element that our girls really need—to be able to express themselves really well. I thought I could help them put their thoughts into writing.
What has been your favorite part of participating in the mentoring group? The great atmosphere that Kelly has created. Working with the girls and having that cohesiveness among the girls. The positive attitude-I think that has been very beneficial to me and I really love the climate that Kelly has created. I really do. She has created a wonderful climate for the girls to be mentored in a very positive way. There is a positive turnaround with the girls and the mentors too.
How has being a volunteer mentor affected your relationship with your daughter? We get to communicate about relationships, so that has really helped as far of having that aspect of learning how to communicate and being able to be more open and really letting her say what she needs to say more freely. I’ve learned to let the girls say what they need to say without having a judgmental attitude and just being a good listener. I think that has helped our relationship as mother and daughter, listening to her without having judgements, and then we work out together what our next steps are. If you listen you will come to a better resolution for whatever problem that might be.
What are you doing for Mother’s Day? Spending time with my children. I may even cook dinner.
Meet Jeliah, The Daughter:
What made you want to become a junior mentor?: My mom had talked to me about going, and I decided to attend the meetings with her. I really liked the activities and the message behind it.
What has been your favorite part of participating in the mentoring group?: The girls–interacting with them, being able to help them. When I go, I’m with the little girls and they always look up to me and latch on to me.
How has being a volunteer mentor affected your relationship with your mom? She starts to see where I’m coming from; she’ll listen more.
What are you doing for Mother’s Day? Just spending time with my mom.