2nd-Generation Mentee Receives a Mentor!
In our 16 years of mentoring, Mercy Street is excited about reaching a milestone: matching a 2nd-generation mentee, Jaylin! Jaylin comes from a family that has been in mentorship with Mercy Street for years. 3 of his aunts have been through the program for a collective total of 19 years and his uncle, Keiden, is currently in his 6th year as a mentor. Mrs. Terri (Jaylin’s grandmother) loves how Mercy Street has impacted the lives of her children and was so excited to be able to introduce Jaylin into that same life-giving experience.
When new mentor Paul, his wife Katelyn, and I arrived at the house, Jaylin’s excitement was very evident. He immediately started sharing all the things he knows about the relationship between his uncle and his mentor and asked if Paul and Jaylin would be like them. As part of our Match Meeting, we go through an agreement that the child, guardian, and mentor all sign together. I had everyone sit down and read their parts out loud, then I asked them to verbally agree in front of the group and then sign their names. Jaylin was so attentive and focused, and I so enjoyed the seriousness with which he took it. He even made sure to ask to hear it again after he signed his name because he knows “signing your name means you have to do it.”
During our Match Meeting, there is a space for the new mentor and guardians to exchange numbers, talk about house rules, etc. During this time, the Mentor Coordinator sits with the child and goes through a Mentee Survey which helps assess the child’s view on their quality of life, decision making, and future hopes. On the questionnaire, there is a 1-10 scale of “Worst Possible Life” (score of 1) to “Best Possible Life” (score of 10). Jaylin selected a 2, and said he hopes that in 5 years he would be at a 9 or 10. The moment that was particularly memorable during this survey was when we came to this statement: “I believe there is a good plan for my life and things will work out well.” Jaylin circled 2 (“Disagree”) as his answer. We began to move on to the next question until he stopped me, pointed across the room at Paul and Katelyn, and told me to ask him that question again in a few weeks because he might pick a higher number then. It was such an impactful moment for me that I was taken aback. I asked him to explain to me what he meant and he said that now that he has these mentors in his life, all of his answers might change. He already thinks Paul and Katelyn might help him find a good plan for his life.
30 minutes into meeting this random adult, a 10 year old boy could articulate the entire hope of our organization for their relationship. When we speak of mutually-transforming relationships, we do so earnestly. This is a moment that definitely fostered transformative work in my life and Paul and Katelyn’s. Afterwards, I shared Jaylin’s words with them, and they was so appreciative of being seen that way and felt accountable to make sure they strive to be that type of mentor. We are so thankful for Paul and Katelyn and what they will do in Jaylin’s life, continuing over a decade of work in this family. We are equally thankful for Jaylin and what he will do in our lives, continuing over a decade of work that this family has done in us. We are thankful that Mrs. Terri, Jaylin’s grandmother, has chosen to partner with Mercy Street in the work God is doing in West Dallas. It’s beautiful to see God leading a husband and wife to serve together alongside all of us.