“If Anny was not my mentor, I would be a super freshman.” That is how strong Hajrije feels about her mentor, Anny. “She motivates me to try at school. She motivates me to go to school.”
For those unfamiliar, “super freshman” means that she was on track to repeat her freshman year of high school. With the help of her mentor Anny, who works for Minnehaha County, Hajrije is keeping up with her class.
The two have been matched for 18 months through the USucceed program. Together they have gone to several of the monthly USucceed events, they had a community garden plot last summer, they go shopping together and eat lunch each week.
At the top of the list of things they have done is that Anny helped Hajrije get her first job! “She took me to the interview and helped me practice before we went.”
Hajrije first heard about USucceed from her principal at Washington, Mr. Nold. He recommended the program and Hajrije was matched with Anny in her first mentoring experience. Anny discovered USucceed by attending the Women Unite event hosted by the Sioux Empire United Way. She worked with a few girls who unexpectedly moved out of the area before getting matched with Hajrije. The two were meant to be and have gotten along great from the beginning.
“Mentoring brings an added element of fun,” said Anny. “I feel like I am a positive influence for Hajrije and I like to motivate her and listen to her. I am excited for her to embrace her potential in the coming years.”
Despite some troubles early in high school, Hajrije is on a mission to graduate and hopes to attend cosmetology school. Anny says that she is looking forward to that day and “will be the most obnoxious person in the audience.”
Over time, Anny and Hajrije have built an incredible relationship and have formed a trusting bond. “I can tell her anything and she won’t judge me. She just always tells me positive things,” said Hajrije.