Consistency and Commitment Key to Successful Mentoring

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As a broadcast journalist, Joan Thomas said that a large part of her profession entailed chronicling the worst aspects of humanity. Youth services volunteering, she said, was her way of being a part of the solution to so many of the problems she covered as a newswoman.

Working with her mentee, Erica Gibson — now a computer application developer with two young children of her own — was not always easy, she remembered.

“I think there will come times in a volunteer’s life when he or she might say ‘this is too much work, I can’t deal with this,’” Thomas said, recalling times when mentoring Gibson was so difficult she couldn’t even speak to the youngster. However, that connection between mentor and mentee was never in jeopardy, she said, because the two had developed a profound sense of trust. 

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