Norwalk Mentor Program hosts informational session

Brenda McKenna is a New Canaan resident and business owner of BCM Media. She serves on the board of the Human Services Council, a local non-profit agency that is home to a number of programs including the Norwalk Mentor Program. Brenda has worked with HSC for 8 years, when her youngest left for college, she felt it was the right time to become a mentor.  

“When I go to the room to pick up my mentee, Chay’la from her classroom, she has a huge smile on her face and runs to the door. All of the other kids are peering out the window, almost as if they are jealous that she gets to come with me. It’s very rewarding and exciting that she wants to be with me,” said McKenna. Mentoring is not only rewarding in knowing I am helping someone else, but it gives me an opportunity to step back from my hectic schedule, disconnect from the digital world and recharge my mind. I go back to work feeling more focused, fulfilled and revitalized.

For one hour per week, Brenda and Chay’la meet at the school. They play games together, catch up and recently planted 250 bulbs that will bloom this spring. It’s important for Chay’la to have another trusted adult in her life, besides her parents and teachers. National studies show that students benefit from mentoring through improved academic performance, attendance and self-esteem.

Chay’la’s mom reported seeing improvements in her grades and her behavior at home. She indicated in a recent survey that Chay’la seems happier, more responsible and feels better about herself.

If you believe in the value of a mentor, but feel like you don’t have the time to meet with a student each week, the Norwalk Mentor Program has established HEROES (Helping Enrich Relationships of Every Student). This allows someone to sponsor a mentor/mentee match and be involved in a different way. “A HEROES sponsor can provide additional support, without the commitment of meeting a child once a week,” said Nancy Pratt, director of the Norwalk Mentor Program. “It helps the program grow so that we can match more mentors with students”.

The Norwalk Mentor Program is hosting an informational session about mentoring on Thursday, Jan. 11, from 9-11 a.m. at the New Canaan Library.

Consider becoming a mentor or a HERO and make a difference in a child’s life. For more information, contact Julie Lewis at [email protected] or 203-849-1111, ext. 3002 or www.hscct.org/HEROES.

The Norwalk Mentor Program is hosting an informational session about mentoring on Thursday, Jan. 11, from 9-11 a.m. at the New Canaan Library.

The Norwalk Mentor Program is hosting an informational session about mentoring on Thursday, Jan. 11, from 9-11 a.m. at the New Canaan Library.

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