Kat started mentoring Angie through Casa Chirilagua in the spring of 2014 during Angie’s 1st grade. From the beginning, this mentor match was a match made in heaven. Kat is such an outgoing person and Angie loves to tell stories, make-believe or not. Kat is very consistent in her mentorship with Angie and they both have had quite an exciting first year.
At the start of their mentorship, one of the challenges Kat was faced with was Angie preferring to be read-to than reading aloud. Kat decided to make a pact that would require Angie to work on her reading skills and reading aloud. After two months, they were able to finish their first chapter book, “Alice in Wonderland.” Kat has also helped Angie form better story-telling skills, understanding the difference between imagination and real-life.
Kat takes advantage of all the outings offered through the Casa Mentoring Program. They both participated in the nature-sketch outing where all participants were given an art kit and taught by a professional “naturist” how to sit in nature and sketch. Kat also took Angie to her very first major league baseball game with free tickets offered by the Alexandria Mentoring Partnership. During the game, Kat explained to her the rules in baseball and Angie took in every moment.
When Kat would question whether or not her mentorship was making an impact in Angie’s life, Angie would do something that would completely surprise Kat. In her monthly report for September 2014, Kat wrote: “I told Angie she could select whatever she wanted from the food bars, but she needed at least one veggie. She came back with a pile of cucumbers and told me that she's liked them ever since we had our picnic over the summer. My little heart melted … over cucumbers. HAHA Kids eating veggies! Victory!”
Kat and Angie continue to build on their friendship not only with each other but with their families as well. Kat and Angie’s family spent some time together during the holiday break getting to know each other, which was reported as the highlight of the month in Kat’s monthly report. This mentorship continues to flourish and is an example of the impact a mentor and mentee make in each other’s lives. It is mentorships like this one which illustrate Casa Chirilagua’s core value of relationship-building and the positive impact it has in the community.
Casa Chirilagua is part of the the Alexandria Mentoring Partnership (AMP), which was created in 2006 to ensure that quality mentors and mentor programs are available for Alexandria's youth and young adults in need. There are 11 professionally managed programs in the partnership that need adult mentors. To learn more about AMP, visit: http://www.alexandriava.gov/Mentoring