Engineered to Last
I asked Damon to describe his mentor with one word.
“I would say that he is a friend.
The reason being is that he was there for me for four years and even though we got separated for one he still wanted to meet with me again. Friends are people that you can rely on to always have your best interest in mind and be there for you when you need them; to me. That is the type of person Chet is.”
When the counselor referred Damon to us in 2012, she described him as caring, sensitive, bright, self-
reliant, and detail oriented. She wanted a mentor who would help him with his education aspirations and grow in optimism as he learned his own self-worth. We found him Chet.
Chet has an engineering and mathematics background. Following the death of his father when he was 10, he saw the benefit of having outstanding mentors in his life and wanted to encourage someone that there can be “hope and light at the end of the tunnel” and that they can make something of their lives.
He and Damon connected from day one. When asked at the end of the year why he wanted his mentor again for the next school year, Damon replied, “I guess because he is one of the few people that I know care about me. He helps me with things like math especially. He's taught me a lot of things.” He told Chet, “Thank you. I’ve had a wonderful year with you playing chess and talking.”
Damon had plenty of dreams and goals that he was interested in pursuing: an electrician, a plumber, and even a game developer. By 2016, however, Damon had narrowed the field:
“Chet, thank you for being an amazing mentor. You have made me happy to call you my friend and I hope that we can be friends for many years. Playing chess with you has been very fun and you teaching me so much has been a great experience. You were one of the people that got me thinking that I want to become some sort of engineer.”
In Damon’s own words, “Chet has really helped me since my grandpa’s death and he has been a great friend for me. We have had many great times together and he has taught me many great things about mathematics, science, biology, and technology. Chet has been a really great friend.”
A sophomore this year, Damon continues to pursue his dreams of engineering. As he stated, he and Chet were separated for a couple years due to some health issues on the mentor’s part. They recently reunited and picked up where they left off without a hitch. They are engineered to last.
Are you looking for a way to make a lasting impact? Please consider sharing what you know and giving your time to mentor a child today.