Mentorship Is Anything But Quick
Mentorship is anything but a quick-fix. Brian and Cheryl Richardson have seen the ways long term mentorship impacts their lives and their students’ lives in so many ways. They have been mentoring Skyler and his aunt Maizie Grace’s life for the past three years.
They are quick to say that the friendship they have is a two-way street of blessing. It hasn’t been them doing all the giving and their students doing all the receiving. They are overflowing with thankfulness for all Skyler and Maizie add to their lives.
Brian and Cheryl connected with Kids Hope through a friend at church and have forever been changed by that decision. Brian started meeting with Skyler when he was six years old. During the first year of their mentorship time all Skyler wanted to do was play zombies in the playground. Brian followed his lead and tried connecting with Skyler on his level with what he was interested in.
Brian had a hard time understanding Skyler who has a speech impediment. The first year wasn’t easy and Brian wondered whether he was making any impact because he didn’t see any change. Three years and three schools later, Brian continues to mentor Skyler and feels so proud of the progress he’s seen.
There have been a lot of changes in housing, schools, and family dynamics in Skyler’s life, but through it all Brian and Cheryl opened up their heart and home as a consistently safe place. The behavior problems slowly decreased over time and Brian works hard to still connect with Skyler on a weekly basis.
Cheryl started mentoring Maizie, Skyler’s aunt, three years ago when she was in third grade. It took time for trust to grow. When they first started meeting Maizie was very quiet and became even quieter. She was sweet, easy going, and very eager to please. Cheryl kept showing up and reaching out to build trust.
Over the years Cheryl followed Maizie from school to school and stepped in to help make sure she has the safest and most stable home life as possible. It hasn’t always been easy to watch the ups and downs in family relationships, but after advocating for a school and home change she watched Maizie grow more confident and happier.
Maizie is beginning to thrive at school. She is on the leadership team, sings in choir, and got all As last year. She was able to drop remedial math and add an elective to her schedule instead. Maizie used to avoid school and now she dreams of going to college. Cheryl is so proud of Maizie and wants to encourage her as much as possible to keep going strong in school.
Brian and Cheryl go above and beyond whenever they can in their mentorship. We are so grateful for their heart and passion. Let’s celebrate their dedication and perseverance!