“We were talking at dinner, and a lady in the table next to us was listening to our conversation.” Who doesn’t like a good story? And who could blame anyone for listening to a story whose background goes like this: “Hey Dustin, I heard from your mentor, Sue. She’d love to catch up with you. “That’s so awesome to hear. I’ve wondered how she’s been doing. I’m in my first year out of high school and am thinking about going to college.” Matched 11 years, these two were friends from day one. Whenever we’d talk to Sue she’d tell us how proud she was of Dustin, how kind he was, how athletic, how resilient, and what a great person. She wanted to be there to support and watch him grow. We were delighted to be able to let her know we’d found him again and that he wanted to reconnect.

Their reunion took some time to happen due to the pandemic, but they were finally able to meet. We received this from his mentor after their dinner together. “I had such a nice time with Dustin. He made the Dean’s List the first semester and the President's List the second! It doesn't sound like he needs any scholarship, but, if anyone would deserve one, I would vote for Dustin. I am so proud of him; he seems to have his head on straight for sure.” Over the past 22 years The MN has served over 780 youth with 65% choosing to continue with their mentor for more than a year. Most youth choose to continue having their mentor each school year. The majority of match closures are due to a child moving away from our service area. More and more we are seeing situations like Sue and Dustin where mentoring has paused due to life circumstances, only to begin again when either mentor or mentee reaches out to us for help reuniting. If you or someone you know thinks you might have an hour a week to spend with a child, please consider becoming a mentor. We would love to have you! Oh, and about the lady who was listening? “She ended up paying for our dinner.” Be the sort of friend who inspires those overhearing your story.

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