Laura Standard says her mentee Amy Nguyen was a “shy little sixth grader” when she first met her.
“Now she’s a confident young woman going to college at Georgia State,” Standard said.
Standard’s pride in the girl she has mentored for the past six years is evident in her face and in her voice. She could be speaking of her own child.
And she was not the only one with such pride on their face, such a tone in their voice as she sat around the table recently with other mentors, all of whom have a student they have cared for and spent time with, and who they will now watch walk down the aisle this weekend as Madison County High School Class of 2014 graduates.
Eight mentors with graduates gathered together at a “thank you” celebration given for them by Mentor Program director Shirley Aaron. Aaron said there are 21 mentees who will graduate class this year, thanks to efforts of 14 mentors.
Doyle and Helen Beatenbough, who’ve been mentoring the same young man since 2004, are also very proud of their graduate.
“It’s been confusing for me,” Mr. Beatenbough said smiling. “I thought we were supposed to be beneficial to our mentee, but it turns out he’s been more of a benefit for us. We are just so proud of him.”
“It’s been so wonderful to see him come from a little boy who needed some help to adulthood and turn into a fine young man,” Mrs. Beatenbough said.
Aaron said the change in their mentee has been remarkable. “This kid is going to make it, because of them,” she said.
Melanie Berryman, who is teen coordinator for a group for teen parents, and has been part of the mentor program since 2003, has three mentees graduating this year. “Melanie is my ‘right hand man,’” Aaron said.
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