Dana began mentoring because he was asked by his wife, who was the principal at Jane Addams. He continued because “of Sean. He is a great kid,” said Dana.
Both Dana and Sean admitted they could not imagine what their life would be like without the other person. Dana said, “Sean is stuck with me for life.” And Sean said, “I know I will invite Dana to my wedding and other big events in my future.”
Over the course of hundreds of weekly meetings between the two, some moments have stuck out as particularly memorable. Sean taught Dana chess and Stratego (a board game). Dana took Sean to his first baseball game through the LSS Enhanced Mentoring Program. He also took him golfing last summer and they did a service project through their involvement in the LSS USucceed Program for high school students and mentors. This summer, they plan to attend more USucceed group events and maybe learn geocaching.
A few years ago, Dana was talking to Sean about wanting to get a pet. Sean brought in a book about dogs and the two went through it. Dana selected a Golden Retriever and credits Sean for his input in selecting what turned out to be a wonderful family pet.
As for advice to potential volunteers, Dana said, “Mentoring is fun and rewarding. It is not as intimidating as some may think it is. It just means having a younger friend.” As for students who are asked to participate, Sean offers that “it is not as awkward as it may seem. It is something to look forward to at school each week.”
Through all of board games played, conversations and meals shared, Dana and Sean truly have a strong and unique bond that will last a lifetime. Both Dana and Sean are a great example of how mentoring works.