When I volunteered to be a mentor I assumed so many things. I thought the following: a mentor is someone who brings joy and purpose to a child in need; a mentor is someone who gives their time, energy, love and self to a child who may have never experienced such affections; and a mentor is present through the highs and lows, laughter and tears, and hellos and goodbyes.

Now that I’ve had my own personal experiences as a mentor, I have learned some pretty valuable lessons. I feel more joy and purpose each time I drive off the campus of White Fields than I do any other day of the week. With the perspective I gain each week, I am able to give more of my time, love and energy to my family. This experience causes me to reflect often on the many blessings I have in my life.

I have experienced highs (when my child moved from the D to the C cottage) and lows (when I realized I no longer get to hang out with the D cottage residents/staff that I have grown to adore also). I have laughed with the children (too many times to list), and shed tears for the children (also too many times to list). I have said hello to new faces on their first day at their new home. I have said goodbye to children on their last night before getting adopted.

When my husband and I volunteered to be mentors we knew it would be a challenge to find a balance with our busy lives and demanding schedules of three very active grade school aged children of our own.

I am so thankful we took this challenge. We have grown as individuals, as a couple, and most importantly, as a family. We have let two new boys into all five of our hearts. (Although I think a few extra may have snuck in to my heart).

Jessica Laverty, Registrar at Northern Hills Elementary


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