In honor of National Mentoring Month we're sharing match stories from our network of mentoring programs. The following story was shared by Stephanie Gould-Marian, program coordinator at South Boston T.E.A.M.
Although they have only been matched a few months, Eb and Joelis have already made a significant impact on one another. Eb is a business analyst who recently moved to South Boston from Tennessee. As someone new to the community, he was seeking opportunities to learn more about his neighborhood and get involved. Joelis is a 17-year-old male who lives in public housing in South Boston and is a first-generation Latino immigrant. Eb and Joelis were matched in July 2013 and spent the first several months of their match getting to know each other.
They soon found that they both enjoyed sports. At the start of their relationship, they would play pick-up baseball games. In September, as their relationship grew stronger, they decide to train for and participate in the Rodman Ride for Kids, a local fundraiser for youth programs. Together, they fundraised more than $1,000 for South Boston T.E.A.M. and other programs.
Joelis recently wrote about the experience: “I was very nervous. I felt like I wasn’t ready to ride. But Eb knew just what to say to get me focused and ready. After the first 30 miles, I began to feel very tired! But my mentality never changed. I kept going and never gave up. When we reached the end of the race, we were so proud. I didn’t think I was going to finish, but I did. That race taught me so much. It taught me to not give up, never say never, and when the going gets tough, never stop.”
Thanks to Shamrock Dreams and Mass Mentoring, they have attended several Celtics games together, which has helped them to continue to bond over sports. They have found that sports are not only a great learning experience, but they also help Joelis manage his anger. Together, Eb and Joelis are exploring new activities and helping Joelis gain skills to excel in college and beyond!