Partly funded by the province, the Alberta Mentoring Partnership (AMP) promotes mentorship across Alberta. AMP also connects mentors like Raman and mentees like Sanna. Sanna has made great strides thanks to Raman’s support.
One year ago, Raman met Sanna, who was very shy. Sanna was worried that her sister, Tina, would end up in foster care again because she kept running away from home. The two sisters were living with their dad and step mom at the time. However, the two sisters were in foster care in the past. And Sanna did not want to return there because she wanted her family to be together.
As their friendship continued, Sanna opened up to Raman. In turn, Sanna learned to accept that her sister’s behaviour is out of her control. Sanna also learned that it’s okay to express her feelings. She appreciated having someone to talk to about them.
“Raman helped me to deal with being a kid and work on my anger. I had a hard time at school making friends, and was really shy and kind of nervous. We talked about things that could help me. And she gave me strategies to deal with things. It’s nice to have someone there for you,” says Sanna.
Community partner, Big Brothers Big Sisters, helped create this positive experience by matching the two according to common interests.
“We went on walks, made popcorn and watched movies. We made a s’mores dip from a recipe once, and we went for coffee and shopping quite a few times. We also went bowling. And I showed her a few pictures from India. It’s been a lot of fun,” explains Raman.
Raman has noticed Sanna change over time. According to Raman, Sanna is more caring. She feels she is better able to open up and make new friends. And she is happier, more open, confident and brave because her mentor has been there to support her.
“It’s been a wonderful experience. Our bond is amazing and I really feel I’m making a difference,” says Raman.
Successful mentoring partnerships result from mentors and mentees like Raman and Sanna. AMP, its Children and Youth in Care Mentoring Pilot Program and its agency partners also make mentorship a success. These agencies include:
- Boys and Girls Clubs and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton and Area
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area
- Red Deer Youth and Volunteer Centre
Do you know a youth or youth in care who could benefit from mentorship? Or, do you want to become a mentor? If so, contact the Alberta Mentoring Partnership for more information.
Story Courtesy of Alberta Human Services