Janet Heubach, mentor since 2013
Why did you become a mentor with CfY?
I volunteered with CfY because as the state coordinator of youth mentoring program quality, I knew it was one of the very best programs in Washington and because its workshop component would help me develop personally beyond the stretches I encounter being with my student. I also joined CfY to be in community with other adults committed enough to meet the high expectations of CfY.
How has the experience changed you?
I am more humble and more grateful. I live in awe of the resourcefulness and grit of my student who is currently homeless. In a really different vein, I grew up with a pretty rough concept of men as takers and abusers; CfY helped change my perspective and stereotypes by watching men in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s show quiet leadership and unconditional commitment to students. I continue to work on setting boundaries, a challenge for me, and resisting the notion that somehow middle class income, home ownership, and college education equal a quality life. I often feel awash in the magnitude of my student’s trust in me—it is an immense responsibility to deserve her trust.
What’s your most favorite memory of CfY?
Over four years in CfY there is not one most favorite. THEY are the closing workshop CfY tradition, watching students and adults take ownership when they have bent commitments and agreements, one mentor showing us all that he can inhale a string through one nostril and pull it out of the other during Camp Fun Y’all, watching kids move beyond their fear on the Leap of Faith high ropes challenge, listening to my student sing in the car, and doing our first geocache together when a tube fell down behind us. Above all, I guess was watching my student running up in front of us all to receive her scholarship and laptop computer and the change in belief in herself that accompanied it.
If you’re interested in becoming a mentor or know someone who might be interested, please email our Outreach and Partnership Coordinator Hayley Nolan at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also apply to be a mentor online. Click here!