Mentor of the Month: Dave Miller |

Mentor of the Month: Dave Miller

Daily News staff report
Special to the Daily Mountain Mentor Dave Miller with mentee Patrick

Summit County Mountain Mentors is a well-established community-based mentoring program that matches caring adult volunteers with youth ages 6 to 16.

Mountain Mentors’ mission is “to positively influence the youth of Summit County to lead healthy lifestyles, through a consistent one-on-one relationship with an adult.”

The Summit Daily News will feature a mentor every month to celebrate the dedication and diversity of Mountain Mentors volunteers and the impact they make on the youth in our community.

A: My favorite things to do are anything that provides moments for conversation. We always try to get outside or do something active like heading to the Silverthorne Rec Center. He’s a pretty good swimmer so I get to work on my swimming and learn from him while other times I’ll get to share some of my own expertise.

A: That’s a tough question because there are so many influential people. My parents are the easy answer for so many reasons, but in general I really look up to hard workers and all those movers and shakers that shape our society. I don’t know if this is the most influential person in my life at the moment but when I was I child the easy answer was Wayne Gretzky. I always looked up to him as a hockey player and then when I was about 13 I read his autobiography, which was about his rise as a hockey star. The one thing that resonated with me was the fact that he worked so hard and made sacrifices to get when he is today.

A: I once traveled to Guatemala to take language classes and live with a Guatemalan family. It was an amazing experience because I was able to immerse myself into the culture. My favorite experiences were sitting with my host family or Spanish teacher chatting about daily life in Guatemala and eating traditional food.

A: Just do it! I work with kids and students on a daily basis, and it still can be an intimidating experience. This is a normal part of working with kids. The intimidation factor quickly goes away once a relationship can be developed and you are able to learn about each other. I have learned that I don’t need to act a certain way and the easiest thing to do is just be myself. This program has benefits for both the mentor and mentee. For me I can say that I now remember what it was like to be in middle school and while that might not be the best memories for some it sure can be great to pretend to be a kid again. My time with my mentee is a great time to let work and all of my adult worries go away and just be a kid again!

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