Rhonda’s Volunteer Experience

Posted by on Sep 23, 2011 in success story | Comments Off on Rhonda’s Volunteer Experience

“I had so mch fun w/u @ d rodeo!!! DY tnkwe cn hng ot agn sumtym sn?”

If you can read this, you might just be a mentor to a middle school student!!

Mentoring middle school students is not an easy task. It takes a special person to take the time to learn the ‘lingo” of a middle-schooler and to help guide them through such an important time of growth. Rhonda Weyant is one of these special people and she can tell you what the text above means.

Even though texting makes English look like a foreign language, she chose to join the teenage masses to relate with her mentees at Beveridge Middle School. She felt there is a “time and need to help students before they get into high school or further into their teen years.” The middle school years is that time when they need someone to teach them “kindness, confidence and show them that someone else really cares about them.”

Rhonda is a P4K mentor, from OPPD.  Her dedication to her students has grown each year. Initially volunteering as a goal buddy, Rhonda decided to add group mentoring to her list in the fall of 2011, and most recently, she has taken on the role of liaison between OPPD and the Partnership 4 Kids.

Rhonda’s mentees, Dah Ler, Octavia, Angela and Glennasha describe Rhonda as a “second mom.” For most people, a connection like this may take years to accomplish, but it took Rhonda and her girls just 8 months.

Rhonda and the girls get to see each other twice a month at their after-school meetings, as well as on the fun outings they have had together. Dah Ler said she appreciates all the time that Rhonda has dedicated to them and she feels like she has a friend in Rhonda she can always lean on.  Angela boasts that Rhonda makes her feel like “home,” and “very comfortable”.

The group of young ladies all agreed that going to the rodeo was a blast and probably one of the best experiences they’ve shared with Rhonda so far.  It was also a new experience for the girls, none of them having ever been to a rodeo before.   They shared laughs, some good snacks, and of course, some boy-watching.  Rhonda laughed that the girls paid more attention to the boys than the rodeo.

Rhonda’s favorite moment is a little different though.  She said her best mentoring moment was when one of the girls said to the others that she knew Rhonda loved them and cared for them because Rhonda wanted to stay in touch with all of them after the school year was over.

As busy as Rhonda is, she does continue to stay in touch with the girls.  She advises those considering becoming a mentor to “not think too long–you’re missing out being able to love and help someone.