|When Autumn first got a mentor when she was a 4th grader, she knew she wanted to meet with this person until she graduated high school. Her mentor, Caroline Deinema was not really sure what to expect. “When I heard about mentoring, it seemed like I could make a contribution by doing it,” said Caroline. For Autumn, mentoring is “something fun and something different.”
Now, they are part of the LSS USucceed program and can meet outside of school. For them, it means going out to different restaurants in Canton for lunch once a week. Caroline, who moved to Sioux Falls awhile ago, still makes the drive to her former community to mentor every week (and plays mahjong with friends after her meeting with Autumn!). When many people may use moving as a reason to not continue, Caroline has found a way to make it work, mostly because she says, “it is important to me.”
Caroline and Autumn have formed a great friendship. Autumn would encourage any student to have a mentor because “you can have a friend for life.” And Caroline said, “it’s good to make a contribution and connect with younger people.” Their conversation flows during their meetings. When we met, Caroline had made a note on her phone to remember to ask Autumn about an app that she had heard about. Autumn said she loves to hear about history and the adventures Caroline has when she travels.
For now, they are enjoying their time together. Autumn will graduate next year and has plans to attend cosmetology school. They plan to stay in touch and Caroline is looking forward to seeing Autumn realize her dreams.