Sue Walters has been named Mentor of the Week for Week 2 of National Mentoring Month! Each week of National Mentoring Month has been given a theme to reflect upon, and we will be highlighting a mentor who exemplifies these themes each week. The theme for the second week is “Real Life Impact on Mentors,” which gives mentors a chance to share why mentoring has been meaningful to them.
Sue is a Math Buddy with our Basics Boosters program, so she mentors a small group of bright, lively children. Though she had no mentoring experience prior to volunteering with Be A Mentor, she finds her time as a Math Buddy very rewarding. “It is a wonderful feeling when I see the light go on in a child's eyes who was previously struggling with a concept or problem,” she said. Sue shared the story of the most significant turn-around she has seen in her mentees. She stated, “I had one mentee who would simply shut down on me, and sometimes tear up, if she was presented with a problem she couldn’t figure out. With encouragement, kindness, and patience she actually became really good at staying focused and was one of my most confident students by the year’s end. That was great!”
Sue’s patience while working with her students is not only appreciated by her mentees, but their teachers as well. “I have had teachers tell me their students are getting better with problems. I have also worked with a child or two who wouldn't communicate well in class but would talk and interact well in our session together,” Sue explained. Ironically, Sue was not a great math student, joking in saying, “Third grade is my limit!” She is happy to do what she can to help kids get through the stress of school and math testing. “The kids in general seem to gain confidence with mentoring. It's that extra boost in confidence and reassurance that they need,” she said.