For over 30 mentors in the LSS program, they do not need to look far to find a student in need of extra support. They work for one of our 11 partner school districts, and can see the needs daily. One of those mentors is Maria McKnight.
Maria has been matched with Alexa for two years. Maria is the Administrative Assistant and Harrisburg South Middle School, and Alexa is in 7th grade there. They meet for lunch once a week, and both have really enjoyed their time together.
“I like having someone to talk to and hang out with at school,” said Alexa. “I am not very social so having a mentor is like having an extra friend.”
For Maria, not mentoring never seemed like an option. “Mentoring is so important, especially at this age,” she said. “They are trying to discover who they are, they are becoming themselves and you really get to see all of the potential they possess.”
Together, Maria and Alexa play games, talk a lot and do some crafts. They made a jewelry box for Alexa to give her mom for Christmas. Even thought it got a little messy, it was a fun project.
What Maria enjoys most though is getting to know just one student better. “I really like her sharp wit, and it’s neat to challenge her to do better in things in and out of school,” said Maria.
Lastly, she offers some encouragement to school district staff. “Those who work at a school are usually busy and overwhelmed. I encourage you to stop and think about mentoring. Making time for this is more important than a lot of other things.”
At LSS, we are so lucky to have great mentors like Maria working with a great student like Alexa! Thanks to the Harrisburg South Middle School administration for supporting mentoring!