We recently introduced a new mentor and mentee at Starbucks. The mentee, we will call her Sarah, shared how her and her brother were put in foster care in elementary school. Not more than a year later they were adopted together by couple in Orange. Trusting family-relationships grew quick and easily but there has always been an internal struggle of confusion for Sarah and her brother. They went from having nothing to having everything, overnight. And, although that might sound like a dream, they lived on edge with worry that everything they have been given could be taken from them.
In high school Sarah’s brother decided to push the envelope as far as he could. He became a drug user and dealer. His family attachments fell apart as did his grades and his opportunities for a college scholarship. Sarah was hurt and mad about her brother’s decisions and wasn’t sure how to relate to her adoptive parents anymore; she felt torn between bio-bonds with her brother and what she knew was right. She became very introverted, distant and numb. Her grades plummeted as she tried to reconcile all the confusion in her mind and heart. During the turmoil, she began seeing her therapist, and found some clarity and peace in how to organize her emotions.
Now she is trying to rebound from the months and months of depression and despair. Sarah asked for help studying, specifically English and Economics. She wants to go to college and she knows those two grades are important.
Her new mentor, Lori, happened to excel in English throughout college. Without our help at all, they created their study plan and decided on their next meet up date.
We followed up with Lori a week later and heard about a wonderful study session. Sarah brought all her deadlines with her and the assignments she was working on. They completed a few together and Sarah made sure to lock in their next study date. Lori feels so validated, appreciated and honored to have space to love Sarah. Sarah’s therapist sent us an email talking about how excited she is to have a mentor…someone who is there for her; unpaid, with no obligations outside of her own heart. She is not an extension of the court or her parents. She is just well-intentioned and desperate to see Sarah succeed, and this is going to change her life forever.
For more information on how you can become a mentor and change a former foster youth’s life, check out the calendar for our next mentor training.