An MIA mentor

Tonight, I went to my third in-person mentoring session at my program’s high school in the west 50s. When I arrived, my mentee was sitting and eating pizza with her friend, who is part of the program, but her mentor was absent. I decided to include her in our discussions so that she’d feel like she had a reason to be there that night.

The more I interacted with her, the more I realized that her English was even poorer than my own mentee’s. She could barely understand me when I asked her what grade she was in, so in the end, my mentee ended up being our translator, even though my mentee’s English isn’t so good. I found out that this mentee has only met her mentor once, and that every other mentoring session that has happened, the mentor has never RSVPed or showed up. She’s never given her any advance notification that she couldn’t make it.

That made me so mad when I heard this. The face I made immediately made both the girls burst into laughter. While they found it comical that I was so annoyed, I just couldn’t believe that someone would sign up for this program and be so flaky. Why even participate in the program if you can’t show up at all, and if you don’t, at least give your mentee some notice? It’s as though this mentee shows up once a month, waiting to be disappointed each and every time, except that one lone time her mentor decided to actually show up. These kids join this program, hoping to have someone to look up to, and instead, this kid gets absolutely nothing and instead just keeps getting let down. She’s already complained and told the program coordinator, but unfortunately, he said that they had no more available mentors left to fill in the spot. She just keeps showing up, waiting to one day not be disappointed.

That almost sounds like me.

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