Sam and Steve are a mentee and mentor, respectively, in the Judith & Jack Rosenberg Mentoring 4 Kids (M4K) program, part of Ferd & Gladys Alpert Jewish Family Service (Alpert JFS). They’ve been a dynamic duo for seven years now, having the special distinction of being the program’s longest match!
When they first met in 2013, Sam was a six-year-old boy in a single-parent home who hadn’t had much exposure to outside activities, and Steve was a retired man looking for enrichment in his life. Fast-forward to 2020: Sam, “an articulate, imaginative, and creative” young man (in the words of his mentor) is going to be entering high school.
Sam’s mother, Monica, who heard about the M4K program from a friend, has described seeing a male figure come into her son’s life as “beautiful,” marveling at the growth of their relationship.
“At the beginning, everything was new and fun,” said Sam. “Now, I really enjoy horse races and mini-golf.”
From the beginning, Sam and Steve shared a myriad of outings, from trips to Barnes & Noble, the zoo, seeing sea turtles in Jupiter, and batting a whiffle ball in a baseball field. The personable pair have shared a number of outing “firsts” together, like an archery class at Okeeheelee Park and a visit to the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach.
It’s obvious that Sam and Steve have learned from each other and they certainly do laugh with each other. While Sam paints better, as he discovered early on at a quarterly M4K event, Steve was a good sport, and they both had fun at a street festival where they drew on the street with chalk. They are both determined to better their bowling skills – together.
“I envision a long relationship together,” said Steve. “A friendship that transcends time.”
The M4K experience provides positive changes to both mentees and mentors; just ask Sam and Steve!
“It’s easier to explain things and talk things out, having another person there to talk to,” said Sam. “You learn something from everybody!”
“Sam gives me a real sense of purpose,” said Steve.
We look forward to the continued growth of Sam and Steve’s friendship.
The M4K program provides ongoing support by Master’s-level social workers to the children, guardians and mentors, including quarterly outings, annual recognition events, and quarterly trainings for mentors.
Single parents and grandparents of all faiths and ethnicities raising children 6-14 years of age who would like another adult role model in their life, and adults wanting to be a role model and inspire bright futures as a mentor can learn more at www.mentoring4kids.org or contact M4K Director Jennifer DiSilvestro at 561-238-0285.