Throughout the past four years, Eric and Christopher have built a successful relationship. It wasn’t always that way though. “When we first started, I was nervous,” said Christopher, now a 5th grader at Hayward Elementary. “I knew what it meant to have a mentor, but I still wasn’t sure.”
Eric got started after receiving encouragement from his friends at his church, The Point is to Serve. “Like many people probably do, I could never imagine having the time to mentor,” said Eric, who works at Marco. “But it’s kind of like money. Once you decide to spend it, you don’t miss it.”
Christopher says that Eric is “nice and funny.” He enjoys their time together. They often are spotted in the Hayward library playing a game of chess, JENGA, doing a puzzle or just chatting. When they first started, Eric spent time outside. One of his most vivid memories is playing tag and running on the equipment in business clothes. Christopher told him that “he moved pretty good for an old man.” Christopher remembers that the two took a photo together a few years ago that he still has possession of at his house.
Most of all, mentoring provides a nice break in the day for both of them. “It’s like a special hang out time at school,” said Christopher. Eric likes to see Christopher volunteering updates on his life and how excited he gets when there is good news to report. Mentoring has also allowed Eric to “See all of the hard work done at schools everyday. Everyone from the teachers and counselors to the lunch assistants and custodians are here for the students.”
When asked what it means to have a mentor now, Christopher says, “I know exactly what it means. It is having someone to help you and someone who wants you to try to do better at school and home.” Well said, Christopher!