Mentor Stories: Christie and Phrankie

Having an adult that a youth can rely upon for support and guidance is imperative to their success — especially so for youth in foster care. We have asked our mentors to share some of their thoughts and experiences serving as a mentor for a child in foster care.

As cliché as it sounds, by mentoring you are changing a young adult’s life just by being there. You really are impacting their future. The best part is, it’s a lot of fun! I try to introduce my mentee, Phrankie, to new experiences that she might not have otherwise as a child in foster care.

Many of them are simple things, like attending the Winter Park Arts Festival or trying a new type of food for dinner. Mentoring does not have to be full of glamourous and expensive outings. What matters most is showing your mentee you care and are someone they can trust and confide in. On the weeks I don’t see Phrankie, I text to check-in and see how she is doing. While that may seem trivial to some, even that small gesture reminds our young adults that they matter, and they are important.

The purpose of doing philanthropic work isn’t to make you feel good, but honestly it does. In a world where we tend to put ourselves first, mentoring allows you to take a step back and invest in someone else. I have a young person who looks to me for guidance, and I know I am making an impact. Phrankie is more than just my mentee, she has become an extended member of our family.

-Written by Christie Hyde DeNave

For more information on how to become a mentor, please visit our Legacy Mentor Program page or contact Mentor Program Manager at youthservices@embracefamilies.org