“I’d love to be the one to help guide Uwan toward something he loves…”

I was matched with Uwan, and honestly, I was nervous before our first meeting. I wasn’t sure what we’d have to talk about for an entire hour, and I wasn’t sure I had the skill set to guide him. As it turned out, we hit it off immediately and one hour was not long enough.

I admitted to him that we’d have to learn from each other, and that’s exactly what has happened. I have also realized that there is no skill set necessary. The best thing I actually do for Uwan is just to show up consistently and give him a platform to talk about everyday things as well as looking toward his future.

Uwan’s a great kid with a big personality. I see myself as a big brother/friend/parental figure that he can relate to and lean on for support. I’d love to be the one to help guide Uwan toward something he loves, and help him navigate the next steps to autonomy and adulthood. It’s definitely a give and get deal — I learn as much from him as he does from me.


“I feel so lucky to have been matched with John.”

A friend of mine on campus has a mentor, and he said working with her was really cool — kind of like having a big sister or an aunt to talk to –- so I asked if I could get a mentor, too. I feel so lucky to have been matched with John. He’s like a family member I never had. He’s there for me. He makes me feel safe. I feel like I can talk to him about anything without him judging me.

I like spending time with John. We have a lot in common — we like the same type of music, and he likes to write, like me. We’re both storytellers. He’s teaching me a lot, but I think more than anything, we’ll learn from each other.
John and Uwan are participants in the Connections program, which provides one-on-one, long-term mentoring support to boys ages 15 to 25 in residential treatment centers and other foster care situations. Mentors typically meet with their mentee for one hour every two weeks.

Change a child's life.