The experiences I’ve had as a mentor with Athletes for Kids have been very impactful. The ability to build a genuine friendship with my buddy, and their family, is an aspect of mentoring I truly enjoy. While it did take time for our friendship to grow stronger, that process is something I came to value. Having the opportunity to watch my buddy slowly come out of his shell and truly be himself is incredibly rewarding and makes being a mentor all worth it. We could be playing Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, riding our scooters in the neighborhood, or talking about the new Mario movie, and somehow our 2-hour time slot seems to fly by. I continually look forward to Sunday afternoons, when I can stop being a senior in high school and enjoy being a kid with my buddy.
Our son is a 10-year-old ADHD and social anxiety boy who loves gaming, movies, Battlebots and swimming. This past year, he was paired with Owen from Eastlake HS. Owen has been extremely diligent in his weekly visits and spends quality time gaming of course but has also helped our son grow his confidence in his basketball and scooter skills. Inside and outside time is always on the agenda when he is with Owen. Owen’s genuine interest and compassion beams through each visit. He even came to Nathan's birthday party and enjoyed his first visit to the Bellevue Dave & Busters! Our son plans for Owen's visits by listing out which games and how much time they will spend on each. His relationship with Owen has made him feel the deep friendship that he has lacked with most school friends. Our son is more curious about trying physical sports and focus - attention and words - on the task at hand. We are blessed to have Owen as our son’s mentor and continue to root for him in senior year.