Allie came into the ISM program two years ago. Her parents and her teacher applied to this program for her as she really struggled, in more areas than one. Allie’s confidence was incredibly low. She had very few friends. At times, she was selectively mute and barely said more than two words to anyone. The hope for her in this program was that she would have a friend that would believe in her and be kind to her.
This past year she was matched with a new mentor named Brooklyn. The first few weeks of the match were slow to warm up. Allie was always quiet, yet managed to keep a smile on her face. Brooklyn would ask her lots of questions and would do her best to remember details of what she had shared in previous weeks. Over the next few months, things really began to change.
Allie went from speaking minimally to having full on conversations with her mentor. Not only that, she became so comfortable that she would joke around with her mentor and even tease her at times! Brooklyn found this to be the turning point of their match and was encouraged by this incredible progress. When Allie talks about her mentor, over and over she explained that some of her favourite parts of the relationship are that her mentor listens to her and follows through on each visit.
Upon the closure of their match this school year, the school liaison validated all of the positive changes that Brooklyn had been seeing. She had said that since Allie has had Brooklyn, she has been more positive, joined more clubs and is more confident in talking to other people. She described this change in Allie as a transformation and begged for Brooklyn to continue next year as this had been such an influential factor in Allie’s development.
Many times, mentors wonder at the beginning of an ISM match how one hour per week can really make a significant difference in the life of their mentee. For Brooklyn, the change she saw in Allie as well as the feedback she received from the school, this was proof that came loud and clear.