Mentor highlight: Patrick Stephan from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MA/Metrowest

As part of our 20 Challenges in 2012 campaign, we are highlighting 20 inspirational mentors from across the Commonwealth. Mentors are some of the most humble and giving people. But what got them interested in becoming a mentor and what has the experience meant to them? By telling their stories, we hope to encourage more people like them to become mentors. Have an idea for a great mentor for us to highlight? Contact Lauren Winfree at lwinfree@massmentors.org.

Our next mentor is Patrick Stephan from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MA/Metrowest. This feature was guest-written by Gail Melgren, systems manager/match support specialist at BBBSCMMW.

[caption id="attachment_920" align="alignleft" width="250"] Pat and his mentee, Justin[/caption]

Patrick was recruited through the Red Sox Mentoring Challenge. He was matched to his mentee Justin in 2008. Patrick has introduced Justin to several new opportunities such as attending Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox, Sharks, Tornadoes and Paw Sox games.

Patrick identified Justin's interest in the arts and has taken him to the Hanover Theatre. They have attended Voices of Metrowest concerts and always end up on stage performing! Patrick even joined Voices of Metrowest this season. He has also sung the National Anthem for the Worcester Tornadoes.

Patrick announces the Algonquin Regional High School football and basketball games, and Justin often accompanies him. They announced our Suma Wrestling Event and they have spoken publicly about their relationship at our Taste Event. They made a video and were featured on a panel of matches for MMP at the 2011 Northeast Regional Mentoring Conference.

Patrick has assisted with homework and obtained resources to help Justin academically, and also engages Justin in helping him with yard work and other chores.

Justin wrote an essay about Patrick and won a prize to attend a Worcester Tornadoes game and participate in on the field pre-game activities. Unfortunately, Justin was unable to attend, but Patrick was determined to have Justin by his side. He made a huge cut-out of Justin and brought it to the game and on the field with him!

Patrick has been an outstanding mentor: he is consistent and devoted, fun-loving, responsible and active. He has the ability to incorporate teachable moments with fun-filled activities. Patrick is successful, intelligent, caring, and funny. Patrick and Justin have a fantastic mentoring relationship!

BBBSCMM's mission is to enhance the quality of life of children at-risk, and their families, by matching these children in professionally supported mentoring relationships with responsible and caring volunteers. www.bbbscm.org