Program highlight: Generations Incorporated

Mentoring Day at Fenway is less than three weeks away! Let's celebrate by highlighting another Red Sox Mentoring Challenge program, Generations Incorporated.

Mike Hart is the volunteer recruitment and training AmeriCorps VISTA at Generations Incorporated.

MMP: Tell us a little bit about your mentoring program and your role.

Mike:At Generations Incorporated, we unite older adults with students in Greater Boston public schools and after-school programs. Our volunteers act as literacy tutors either in one-to-one settings or in small groups.

I am on the recruitment and training team, and along with my other team members I recruit and train volunteers who are interested in helping improve the literacy rates of students in their communities. Through our trainings and our sites, we give our volunteers the tools and the medium to help improve their communities.

MMP: Why do you feel mentoring is important?

Mike: I think when we each really take a minute we can picture a mentor that has stood out to us in the past and has helped each one of us to get where we are going. Becoming a mentor is not only rewarding but it allows us the opportunity to help shape your community. It really gives you an outlet to utilize your personal experiences to benefit another person.

MMP: Your program is participating in this year's Red Sox Mentoring Challenge, an initiative designed to recruit more caring Massachusetts adults as mentors. Which Red Sox player do you think is the best mentor on the team?

Mike: Every good team needs a solid leader that they can rely on both on and off the field. For that very reason I would have to say Jason Varitek has to be one of the best mentors on the Red Sox. Few people realize the Red Sox have only had three team captains since 1923; the most recent is Jason Varitek. While Varitek’s role has changed over the past couple of years, he is always willing to step in and fill whatever role is needed for the betterment of the team.

MMP: If you have personally been a mentor, tell us what the experience has been like.

Mike: This year I was given the opportunity to mentor a student in our program. I read with him twice a week at one of our sites in Roxbury. In the beginning it was hard because he didn’t always want to read, but the more sessions we had, the more excited he got about seeing me and reading. It was absolutely amazing to see how much he progressed in less than a year’s time. It is a great feeling to be a part of that, and know that you really made a difference.

MMP: How can people learn more about mentoring opportunities with your organization?

Mike: If people are interested in learning more about mentoring opportunities with Generations Incorporated they are welcome to contact me directly at mhart@generationsinc.org or 617.423.0408. People can also learn more by visiting our website at www.generationsinc.org.