Hello, my name is Jenna. I am twenty-four years old and I am a mentor at San Ysidro Education Vanguard Foundation. I started mentoring in this program is simply because I love kids. I see children as our future. Because they are our future, we need to help them learn and grow. We need to let them know we will support and encourage them by any means. Whether they are struggling or not, I am happy to help them know they are worth something, they can do anything they set their mind to. I feel that the more people there are who believe in them, the more they will believe in themselves. That is my main goal.
I am not going to lie, when I first started mentoring, I thought that some of the kids were a little difficult. They did not want to listen or participate in the Lego robotics. One child in particular, Antonio (name changed) was kind of a handful. He was a sweet kid but proved to be a little bit of a challenge; distracting the other kids during their projects; running around and being wild; not following directions. Sometimes he went off to do his own thing instead of being in the group. I could see he was struggling, especially since his older brother Angel (name changed) would always declare, ‘Antonio can’t do that. Antonio doesn’t know how to do that. Antonio doesn’t understand.’ I know Angel wasn’t trying to be mean. He was just stating what he thought he knew, but it really made it harder on Antonio.
I decided to encourage Antonio and teach Angel a different way to work with his brother. So, every time I would see Antonio, I encouraged him to do more, like help building the robots or programming them. I would get him more involved with the team, telling him what a great job he was doing. I also worked with Angel to show him how to support his brother, and have some faith in him. After a few days of working with both boys I could see improvement. Angel was more understanding and encouraging with his brother telling Antonio he can do it and asking him to join in on the projects. With Antonio, I could see he was more into the projects, getting excited about the robotics, and doing little things that helped in a big way. I am very proud of both Angel and Antonio. They have come a long way. Their parents didn’t say anything but they are staying in the program, and making a lot of progress.
I think San Ysidro Education Foundation is a benefit to many children, and without your support these children will most likely never get the help they need.