Story contributed by: Jennifer DiSilvestro, Mentoring 4 Kids Program Director
In 2018, Alpert JFS welcomed a new mentor, Bruce Evans, to our Judith & Jack Rosenberg Mentoring 4 Kids program. Bruce, age 30, is a financial advisor with a degree in business and he’s our youngest mentor in the program. While most single, young men spend their free time doing other activities, Bruce wanted to have a meaningful impact on a child through M4K’s one-to-one mentoring program. Bruce’s experience working with children and special needs adults as a coach in the South Florida Special Olympics had a great influence on his desire to become a mentor. After moving from New Jersey and settling in Florida, Bruce made the decision to mentor a child and become a part of his lifetime journey.
Since October 8, 2018, Bruce has been matched with a charismatic, 8-year-old boy named Josiah. Together, the pair have established a strong friendship that will last a lifetime. The mentoring program has changed both of their lives.
Reflecting back on the past year, we asked Bruce a few questions:
What has being a pal to Josiah meant to you? Bruce: “I really wasn’t sure what to expect when joining the mentor program. I know from personal experience that having a mentor/role model can have an impact (positive or negative) on an individual. There are many people in my life whom I look to for guidance and who have been there when I needed them the most. The friendship Josiah and I have created is a two-way street and I hope the impact I have on Josiah is as strong as the impact he has made on me.”
What do you like best about your pal Josiah? Bruce: “There are a lot of great things about Josiah and it is difficult to pick just one. He is caring, generous and very positive. One of my favorite parts about Josiah is how he is very family oriented and protective. His mother, Bernadette, does an amazing job raising three children as a single mother working full-time. I believe Josiah is fully aware of how difficult that is and being the oldest child, he tries to help with his younger sister and younger brother. Whenever Josiah is telling a story (whether true or made up from his awesome imagination) he always includes his brother, sister and mother. It takes a strong person to be able to raise a family on your own and it’s easy to see how well Bernadette is raising her children with those strengths being passed down to Josiah, and his two younger siblings.”
What was your favorite outing together so far? Bruce: “Every outing we have been on has been great. We can have fun just about anywhere, and if Josiah gets bored, he will most definitely let me know. He has such a creative and wild imagination that even if we are just walking around town you’ll see him climbing and having fun as Spiderman. Thank you again for everything!”
We asked Josiah and his mother, Bernadette, about Bruce and what it has meant to have him as a mentor this past year:
“Mr. Bruce has a cool car and he is really nice and funny. We like some of the same games and music. My favorite outing so far was when we went to goofy golf together.” ~Josiah
“Bruce is a great young man. He is responsible, caring and very nice. He has taken great strides to make sure Josiah has fun and understands friendship. The program is great and gives kids an opportunity to meet other people and to go places they might not normally go. Thank you.” ~Bernadette (Josiah’s mom)
To learn more about the Judith & Jack Rosenberg Mentoring 4 Kids program, or if you’re interested in becoming a mentor, contact Jennifer DiSilvestro, Director of M4K Program, at (561) 238-0285 or visit www.Mentoring4Kids.org