Saturday, November 19, 2011
Had a little post-mary blogging hiatus... survived the post marathon crash/depression... now blogging again... 'til the next hiatus...
The biggest news of late in my little running world is that I've completed the application process to be a mentor with Bolder Options. In case you don't feel like clicking the link, here's the gist of it:
Bolder Options is an innovative program focused on healthy youth development. Uniting one-on-one mentoring with goal setting, physical activity, tutoring, and leadership opportunities the program builds confidence, maximizes potential, and encourages healthy life skills.
The application process consisted of filling out an online form, attending mentor orientation, an interview, and a background check. I met my mentee (who will henceforth be referred to as mentee, so as to respect her privacy) last Monday.
I definitely had a little anxiety surrounding meeting her. Change/new experiences can be a challenge for me, and this was no different. However, upon reaching her north Minneapolis home, I was quickly put at ease. Although she has what I would consider to be typical 13 year old shyness, she's extremely sweet; and her parents are great.
While the website describes the program as being for kids 'at risk for dropping out of school or becoming involved in delinquent or unhealthy behaviors,' I learned through the orientation process that it's also for kids who are on the right track and trying to stay that way. Mentee is definitely in the latter category.
Today we had our first outing. I took her to buy shoes (provided as part of the Bolder program). Considering that we could probably both be described as introverts, we did a good job of keeping awkward silences at a minimum on the 20 minute drive from her house to the shoe store. That being said, she was likely getting a little fed up with all my typical lame adult inquiries: siblings, favorite subject in school, least favorite subject in school, etc., etc. But, she was a great sport and answered all my questions. Math is her favorite subject because the teacher is great. Science is not, because the teacher is lame.
Upon picking out the shoes and heading back to NOMI, we continued to chat. We got back to her house a little earlier than planned and no one was home. So, off to Mickey D's we went. We were cautioned in orientation about taking them for 'treats,' as they may come to expect it. However, I don't see it being an issue with mentee, and I wasn't sure what else to do with her.
I'm glad it worked out the way it did, because I learned quite a bit more about her, including that her family had to relocate after last summer's tornado. While the house they were renting at the time still stands, the basement had massive water leakage and they lost quite a bit of property. Good to know...
All in all, it was a good first meeting. We plan to meet again next Sunday afternoon for swimming at the Y. The weekend after that we'll be participating in the Reindeer Run 5k (we're to do three 5k's throughout the year).
My plan (famous last words) is to journal our year together on this blog. Hopefully I'll be posting in a week!