“If you’re having trouble and need to talk it out, wish for a mentor.” That is what Ben, a 6th grader at Harrisburg North Middle School, said. He went on to say that he felt lucky that he has been able to meet with Chad Erickson for the past four years.
Chad, who works at US Bank, has enjoyed mentoring and is glad he got involved. “Mentoring grounds me. It helps to keep things real. It’s easy to get busy with day to day routines. Mentoring is a nice break and now I don’t know what I would do without it,” said Chad.
Each week, Chad and Ben spend their time talking and playing games. Battleship and Brick Breaker are among their favorites right now. One thing they often talk about is how to avoid conflict.
According to Ben, he was a “mischievous kid” when he was in 3rd grade and had trouble before that year with getting mad. Chad and Ben discussed the book Soda Pop Head on a regular basis. Visits from Chad have been great for Ben. “It’s a break from other kids and bullies,” said Ben. “Chad really gets me. We like the same things. We can talk out situations and he helps me. He’s a person I can actually trust.”
As much as mentoring has helped Ben, Chad has enjoyed it and looks forward to the future. Like everyone, he had reservations before starting. “You don’t really know what you’re getting into when you apply,” said Chad. “Now that I have seen the benefits and that Ben has come a long way for the better, I can’t imagine if I was not part of it.”
They are both excited to see what the future brings. When asked what they will remember about their time together twenty year from now, Ben said he will remember “having a real close friend.” And Chad said, “no matter what, I will always remember Ben.”
After meeting Ben, he is someone I will remember for awhile too. He is an enjoyable kid who really thrives when his mentor is around.