When I was matched with my buddy, I wasn’t really sure what to expect” says Redmond mentor Kojo. “I knew what I wanted out of it – experience, fun, and the chance to grow as a person– but I didn’t know what his expectations for me were. I showed up to the parent meeting, extremely nervous, wanting to meet those expectations. Fortunately, my buddy’s parents were the some of the nicest, most patient people I have ever met, and made it so easy for me to begin my mentorship. I remember when I met my buddy for the first time. He had already planned out the things he wanted to talk about with me. Even though communicating his ideas wasn’t easy at first, over time, and during our many drives, our conversations became noticeably longer. His random bursts of laughter when he suddenly thinks about reindeer, or his jittery excitement over getting into an elevator never fail to make my day better. It’s even more rewarding to know that I’m doing the same for him, especially hearing news that he’s been asking about me all day when I walk in the door. I know that the rest of this mentorship will only bring more positivity into both of our lives, and I’m happy that I’ve been able to share a bit of every week with my buddy.
“Kojo has been an amazing mentor for our son. He is such a role model of what all young men should be like. First, he customizes to what is fun and motivating for our son, (such as a trip to look at elevators) while also trying new things, like puzzles. Second, he truly gets him because he understands that our son is not being uncaring when he is being his direct self. Finally, even though he is busy, every single week he makes time to see our son! We are so impressed with this young man who is so empathetic, intelligent and responsible. Our son loves hanging out with Kojo and we love him too. Thanks AFK for creating this opportunity for this great mentor relationship!”