At some point in the past ten years that Stacy Trove and her mentee Shay have been together, the terms “mentor and mentee” were dropped in exchange for family. Shay was a quiet second grader at Eugene Field when the two first met. “I completely remember the first day,” said Stacy. “Shay was nervous and shy. She had the best smile that just made me happy since day one.”
After their first year together, they talked about continuing the next school year. They agreed and after that, never talked about not being together again. “I’ll be her mentor forever,” said Stacy.
Shay, who has lived with her grandparents since age three, said she has absolutely loved the opportunity to get to know Stacy. “She has become another mom to me,” said Shay. “We have so many memories.”
The two talked about how Stacy brought a bag of activities with her during their elementary years, they did a lot of reading together, in middle school they spent time on the computers and really liked all of the outside of school activities they did through being part of USucceed during the high school years.
In elementary school, Stacy would ask about school. Shay often proclaimed how she would “never use this” information when she was older in regards to math. Shay said she never really loved school when she was young. She made a decision in middle school to make school a priority and it has paid off in the form of earning a Build Dakota scholarship! Shay shared this news with Stacy and they both got tears in their eyes. She was so relieved that the cost of college was wiped away because of her hard work.
As for Stacy, she is so excited for Shay and her future. Mentoring Shay for the past ten years has been a joyful experience. “It is hard for me to think of mentoring someone else,” said Stacy. To keep connected, they are hoping to co-mentor a very lucky to-be-determined student together next year. Often in social services, things are described as cyclical. LSS is proud to see this match start a cycle of former mentees turn into mentors.
When asked for any advice for mentors, both Stacy and Shay offered up gems of wisdom. Stacy said, “It may be an hour a week, but it is easy to make that time fun and special for both of you.” And for anyone who is thinking about becoming a mentor or is in a new match, Shay said, “Just go with it and enjoy your time. It’s okay if you don’t know what you’re doing because the kid you’re working with doesn’t know either.”
We at LSS want to thank Stacy and Shay for hanging in there with us and being great models of a successful match! They always brought the fun with their contagious smiles and laughs. Congratulations on the past ten years! AND a big congrats to Shay on graduating last weekend! We’re proud of her!