For Howard Mellman and his mentee, Jacob, it’s all about cars!
When he was younger, Jacob collected and built model cars, and Howard raced them semi-professionally for 15 years. Since they were matched through the Judith & Jack Rosenberg Mentoring 4 Kids (M4K) Program of Alpert Jewish Family Service, the two have been inseparable for nearly four years.
M4K provides a same-gender role-model for a child between the ages of 6-14 who has lost a significant caregiver through death or divorce. This free non-sectarian program helps fill a void in the child’s life and strengthens the family.
“I feel like he’s someone special,” says Jacob. “I can talk to him about anything. I trust him.”
Howard found out about the M4K program through a friend and was immediately interested in getting involved. “I’d done similar volunteer work with Big Brothers & Big Sisters, which I really enjoyed, so it seemed like a good fit.”
Most weekends, you’ll find Howard and Jacob attending the Coffee and Cars show at Palm Beach Outlets, playing basketball, putt-putt, jumping on the trampoline—anything active. Recently they hung out at a Ferrari dealership. “Jacob really flipped for that,” says Howard.
But learning is a two-way street in this mentor-mentee relationship. “Jacob got me hooked on fishing,” says Howard, who is retired from the scrap metal industry. Now they fish together in their respective communities’ lakes and rivers. “I also fish on my own almost every day.”
“We’re grateful for the M4K program,” says Jacob’s mom, Debra. “We couldn’t have asked for a better mentor in Howard. They were a perfect match from the beginning. He’s really good with Jacob.”
“Jacob’s a good kid, very thoughtful,” says Howard. “Since I’ve known him he’s literally grown quite a bit. He’s over six feet tall! I’m five foot-six. He really kicks my butt at basketball now!”
Interested in becoming a mentor? Contact Mentoring 4 Kids Director Jennifer DiSilvestro at (561) 713-1885 or [email protected].