Before becoming a part of the AFK program, I had always known that I love being with kids and being able to help or support them in any way possible. Needless to say, Athletes for Kids has given me the chance for not only that, but other ways of impact that had never crossed my mind.
Any and all nerves were discarded once I met my buddy’s parents. The first time I met my buddy’s mom, she helped me with any questions I had, told me all about my buddy’s interests, and welcomed me with a hug and a warm smile. I love getting to meet with my buddy on a regular basis while drinking Starbucks (her favorite) and talking about her week, but also getting to guide her through some of the hardest years of her life is indescribable. To have the opportunity to teach her it’s a good thing to be yourself and that at the end of the day, as long as you have a good heart and stay true to you, no ones opinions matters has not only affected her, but has affected me as well. Being her mentor, I don’t feel like it’s a “chore”, but that I truly enjoy spending time with her. My buddy and I have a connection that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Not only have I taught her things, but she’s taught me as well. She’s given me a new perspective and a bigger heart in the process.
"My daughter was having trouble fitting in when she started middle school. One of her teachers told me about Athletes for Kids as her son had a mentor. I contacted AFK to see if my daughter would be a good fit for the program. We both decided that she would be, so she was matched with her mentor, Sophia. Before quarantine, Julia and Sophia would go shopping, go to Starbucks, and go on walks. Sophia has shared some of her own experiences and Julia is able to talk to her without fear of being judged for saying or doing the wrong thing. My daughter loves hanging out with her mentor and is always excited to see her. Thank you, AFK, for making a great match!