This I Believe

Kayla - Goshen, Indiana
Entered on May 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

During my junior year of high school, I joined the PACT program, which stands for “Peer Assistance from Caring Teens”. This is a teenage mentorship program where high school students can go to elementary schools and mentor elementary school students who have behavioral problems or un-welcoming home lives. I currently mentor two girls. One named Jessica, who is in 5th grade, and one named Kori who is in 3rd grade. When I first met both of them, they were really shy and didn’t really want to talk about anything. As time went on, they opened up more to me and started telling me a little bit more about themselves and their families. I discovered that Kori’s home life was a lot worse than Jessica’s, or my own. Every week I go to see Kori, I feel like she feels that she has someone she can turn to to talk about things when she has no one to turn to at home. The first couple visits I saw Kori, she didn’t have many friends and I think she was a bully to some of the other kids. Now, Kori is a lot nicer and she has friends. A girl that I go to school with is Kori’s cousin and she came to me one Monday and told me that Kori had the picture I had given her of us on her refridgerator. Hearing this made me happy because it made me think that she does look up to me. Not only as a mentor, but as a friend.

When I first hear about PACT and then teen mentors involved I thought, “These kids won’t change, these teenagers won’t make a differnece at all.” I was wrong. I joined the program to see if what I thought was true, was really true or not. It wasn’t.

Through my first hand experiences, I proved myself wrong and discovered that the teens that step up to the plate to help kids in need, truely do make a difference in their lives. But not only have I noticed a difference in the girls, I have noticed a differnece in myself.

I believe that teen mentors do make a difference in their mentee’s life.