Mountain Mentors’ March mentor of the month: Sue Rodgers
What is your background?
I am originally from British Columbia, Canada. We have made Summit County our home for the last 16 years. We have the best of friends here and love being involved with our community. Reduce, reuse and recycle are my three middle names! I love volunteering, and bringing my mentee along when I volunteer is awesome. One time we were at the high school library and there were kids in there talking and laughing. Aiyana told me that it should be called the LOUD-brary! I still laugh about that one.
What led you to decide to become a mentor?
Well, my family lives in Canada and I miss my nieces who are around the same age as my mentee. I have two wonderful sons but no daughter, so having a little girl to hang out with has been so rewarding. My buddy Aiyana, is so smart and we get along just like bff’s. I love the girlie stuff.
What do you enjoy most about being a mentor?
I love being a mentor to Aiyana because it doesn’t matter what we do. We normally do not make a plan or book an event to attend, we sometimes just hang out, run errands, garage sale and giggle. She makes me laugh and teaches me so much about things we are both interested in.
How does mentoring fit into your life?
Just like having a friend, you have to make time to spend together. We usually talk once a week to check our schedules, then plan to get together. She is so much like me and I think we are really great friends and always will be.
What is one of your favorite activities you have done as a mentor?
Gosh, I really don’t know. Every time we get together, we have such a great time. I love the fact that her mom will text me and share that she knows when Aiyana has had a good time with me because she comes home “glowing.” That means a lot.
Any advice for anyone who is considering becoming a mentor?
I think that it’s important to let other people know, who are thinking of becoming a mentor, that you don’t always have to “do” something. It’s the conversation and perspective from both the mentor and mentee that is so rewarding. Sure you can ski, skate, go to a movie, but it’s so much easier and you learn so much about each other, when you just spend time together. Plus, the Mountain Mentor program offers up so many activities you can attend on a monthly basis. Mentees are not always kids who don’t have mothers or fathers, they just need a different big person to hang out with. Plus, as a mentor, you get to do fun kid stuff and stay young. Mountain Mentors have made a lifelong match with Aiyana and I.
Aiyana says: “My favorite thing about hanging out with Sue is … it’s hard to decide because there are so many. One of them is that I get to play with her puppy, Mitzy, a lot. The other is that I get to do a lot of crafts with her.”
Aiyana’s mom, April: “I couldn’t be more grateful for the mentor that was chosen for Aiyana. Aiyana comes home from hanging out with Sue and her ‘bucket’ has been filled, so to speak. She is just glowing! It doesn’t really matter what they do together, it’s just the time they spend with each other that counts. I feel Sue is a great listener and understands my daughter on a level that I would never have guessed anyone outside our family/friends circle could. My daughter needs that time away from us to see another perspective and figure some things out about being a 9-year-old and how she fits into this world. I trust that Sue can do this in an age-appropriate way. I completely trust her.”
Mountain Mentors is a local 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that pairs children from ages 8 to 16 with adult mentors. For more information on Mountain Mentors, visit http://www.summitsource.org and click “Mountain Mentors” on the menu bar.
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