Mountain mentor of the month: January 2018
Summit County Mountain Mentors, a community-based mentorship program that matches caring volunteers with children ages 8 to 16, has named Laura Champe its Mentor of the Month for January.
The program aims to positively influence Summit County’s youth to lead healthy lifestyles through a consistent, one-on-one relationship with an adult. For her part, Champe was paired with a girl named Andrea, and since joining the program, the mentor has found hanging out with children has a way of keeping someone young.
“Who doesn’t want an excuse to play games, try new activities and learn what’s hip?” she asked rhetorically. “But being able to give a kid your time, wisdom and encouragement is really what it’s about.”
Champe said she enjoys how Andrea is so full of curiosity. The mentor also looks forward to helping the girl answer any questions she might have as her life starts to get more complicated.
For Andrea, the benefits are obvious, too.
“Laura makes me smile, and she’s a great cook, and I love to cook with her,” Andrea said. “Laura is really playful, and I get to go to the animal shelter with her.”
Training at the animal shelter was one of Champe’s favorite outings too, and the duo has done all sorts of fun things, such as jumping into foam pits, playing in a big hamster ball, scavenger hunts and many others, since coming together.
“The Mentor group activities are fun for all ages, so both of us have done things we wouldn’t have on our own,” Champe said. “We also like inventing new pizza recipes, teaching each other games or just going for walks.”
Anyone thinking about getting involved with Summit County Mentors is encouraged to do so. “Whatever you think the drawbacks are can be worked around,” Champe said. “If you have any time, respect kids and like having fun, you have nothing to lose. It’s not a lifelong commitment.”
Many children in the county apply for a mentor, but they have wait several months before being matched. People are encouraged to consider becoming a mentor. For more, go to co.summit.co.us/332/Mountain-Mentors.
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