I mentor a young elementary school student who internalizes his failures, or what he perceives as failures. During one of our meetings I found him sitting on the floor in the hall with his head between his knees. I knew he hadn’t met his own expectations in class, and was quietly dealing with his frustration. Food is always a good equalizer, and after a little coaxing, we started for the cafeteria. On our way, he ducked into the bathroom. His cousin coming from another class, happened by, and immediately guessed the mood of my mentee, and assured me he could cajole him with humor, and get him to the lunchroom. He delivered a smiling student as promised. This creative cousin, whom I met for the first time, was so proud to help. Our mentoring session was the catalyst to change a defeated mindset and happily (for his teacher), resulted in my young mentee being fed and ready to take on an afternoon of study. As a mentor, I work with the situation at hand. I’ve learned that a mentor’s impact comes in many subtle forms.

Submitted by a community mentor