January is National Mentoring Month. I have been a Big Buddy in the Buddy Program for the past 10 years, during which time I’ve experienced fun-loving moments and growth opportunities. At the end of a decade, seeing that my Little Buddy has a true sense of herself and an inner confidence gives me the assurance that this quiet, kind, creative young adult will be just fine in whatever she chooses to do in life. In fact, I am sure she will contribute more to this world than I can even imagine.
Reflecting on our years together, I am reminded of the pure joy of hanging out with a playful, mischievous, silly kid: the birthdays and plays, the focus on school work, and the discovery of art through visiting local galleries and the Aspen Art Museum. Today, it’s hard to believe that I am being exposed to what it takes to get into college in 2013.
As a mentor, there were times when I was unsure of my contribution. However, you never forget those precious times spent talking something over together, or how proud it makes you feel when you hear your Little Buddy repeating something that you taught her. Those times make you realize that you have helped with the development of this person’s life along the way. Being a Big Buddy adds value to you as an individual well beyond your initial expectations.
The Buddy Program makes our community shine. My friends supported our Buddy relationship, too, which shows the power of this community. Through the Buddy Program, other community members supported us with generous discounts on ski lift tickets, passes to the ARC and event tickets. Countless others supported us on a daily basis with warmth, generosity and access to everything this valley has to offer. As has been said many times about this program, it’s hard to know who gets the most out of it; you, or your Little Buddy. I highly recommend becoming a mentor in the Buddy Program. For more information, call 970 920-2130 or visit www.buddyprogram.org .