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Life's Important Moments

Friday, November 09, 2018


10/14/17

The picture I am sharing is one that is very important to me. It is me with a young woman who honored me by asking me to be her mentor for the Washington Youth Academy, a 16 month commitment. At the time this photo was taken, she was 4 months into her journey and we were at an outing where the Youth Academy was providing assistance for a community festival on the waterfront of a small town.

It was a momentous day for both of us. We got to strengthen our bond helping both young children and senior citizens navigate the event's activities. As I was only 3 months out of my first knee replacement, it was a challenge, but there was far more fun than there was pain. I would have attended again in a heartbeat because it such a fulfilling experience and my mentee and I truly got to nurture our relationship. I got to learn how truly amazing this young woman was (and is).

As her mentor, I have been able to coach her through some life trauma, watched her graduate the WYA Residential Phase of the program, been there as she graduated high school at 17, and helped her prepare for boot camp and her MOS school. We met up or spoke several times weekly, to urge her forward to meet her goals and dreams. It has been a wild and wonderful ride, thus far.

Flash forward to today (11-9-18), and I find myself staring wistfully at the calendar knowing that on 11-18-18, my official commitment to this young woman as mentor will end. She has asked me to attend her Post-Residential graduation at the Youth Academy for her as she will be unable to be present. She's graduating from her MOS training in Virginia on 11-20-18 and cannot be in 2 places at once. So much has happened and she has accomplished so much!

I know it is not the end of the relationship, but it is an ending of sorts. It is one I can handle. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a mentor to this incredibly determined young woman and look forward to helping her celebrate her future.

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