The influence of a mentor

In honor of National Mentoring Month we're sharing match stories from our network of mentoring programs. The following story was shared by Samantha Alves, director of youth mentoring at Children's Friend and Family Services in Salem.

In 2013, Mac was referred to our youth mentoring program. He was having a hard time at home and in school - he didn’t have anything to talk about with the kids at school and he felt alone and socially unacceptable.

Children's Friend and Family Services SalemInto Mac’s life walked Sam, a youth mentor from our program. Sam is a retired postman and has a lot of time and love to give. Once a week, they meet and go to the latest movie, walk in the park, visit the Museum of Science, eat at a restaurant, or just drive around and do errands.

Mac is so happy to have someone he can spend time with one-on-one, and also talk to, that has his undivided attention. The changes in Mac prompted his doctor and school guidance counselor to call our mentoring program and say thank you for matching Mac with a mentor. They can’t believe he is the same kid! He has friends at school now and really feels like he is somebody.

In just two months, Mac’s mentor has made an enormous difference in his life. A little confidence and attention goes such a long way.