How and where can I make a difference? That is the thought I was faced with in 2009. In a large community like OKC, where there is seemingly a need around every corner you look, I wondered where I could focus my energy and efforts to make a difference in someone’s life. After seeking some advice and studying numerous options, I decided it was best for myself personally to invest 100% in the life of one, versus small investments in many.
As I researched numerous opportunities in OKC, a colleague of mine told me about White Fields. So I looked in to it and the more I learned about it, the more I felt led to begin investing time at White Fields as a mentor. Upon completing the mentor application process, I was matched up with an anxious 11 year old boy and we jumped right in getting to know each other. I quickly learned there is always something to do on a mentor visit. We play video games, foosball, air hockey, jungle pong, board games, throw a football around, walk around campus, have dinner together on campus, you name it. The activities to do together are endless! We worked on our friendship first and as it grew I was able to start discussing life lessons with him and he really began to open up to me. Through our time together, I found that the greatest successes and accomplishments were made after we first established a honest, trusting, and genuine friendship. Once we had a solid friendship, the life lessons and other tid bits of advice began falling in to place and started soaking in to his knowledge bank.
As time went on, I found that my mentee was making just as much a difference, or more, in my life than what I felt I was making in his. I have learned many life lessons and gained an entire rolodex full of new friendships during my time as a mentor at White Fields. With each visit on campus you get to know the other boys and develop relationships with them as well. Each young man and friendship is truly unique. It is refreshing to see the life and energy in the eyes of each of the young men on campus. Through my mentee and the relationships I have developed with the other young men, I have learned that there are no special skills required in order to volunteer as a mentor. A big smile, friendly attitude, an open and caring heart, and your time is simply all that is needed. A 1-2 hour commitment each week can make a world of difference in the life of a young man. Besides the White Fields staff, house parents and foster parents, the volunteer mentors to these young men become an integral part of the support structure in their lives. The boys learn to depend on you and anxiously await your arrival each week. The growth and maturity they experience and develop through the mentor/mentee relationship is unmeasurable. It is truly rewarding to watch the transformation that takes place at White Fields from a needy, traumatized, and lost young boy to a groomed, structured, goal-oriented young man eager to take on the world.
White Fields is a Christ centered, first class, top notch facility. The staff, house parents, foster parents and directors of White Fields are second to none and I commend each and every one of them for their tireless efforts to create a better life and a better place to live for the underprivileged boys that find their way to White Fields. My mentee and I have developed a wonderful friendship that will last a lifetime and we eagerly look forward to our time together each week. If you are looking for a rewarding experience, look no further than volunteering as a mentor at White Fields.
White Fields Mentor and Friend