Just before Christmas last year, I called Partners of Routt County and set up an interview to mentor a child. Volunteering in a program like this had been on my list for a long time, but I always had some excuse why I didn't have the time.
When I arrived in Steamboat 35 years ago as a single mom who worked a lot, I so wanted a program like Partners to help me with my son. My interview to become a Senior Partner consisted of some written tests, personal interviews and finger prints that took me three times to the police department because they had faded over the years. At the end of the month, I met my new Junior Partner, Mary, at Johnny B Good's along with her parents and Erin Murphy. Erin's job at Partners is to give you the tests, match you with a Junior Partner and follow up on your progress. She is great!
Throughout this year, Mary and I have had lots of great times getting to know one another. She continually amazes me with her intelligence and great energy. At 13, Mary and I can talk about everything - politics, religion, who is going with who in middle school, and, of course, boys. We meet twice a week after school and go for walks with my dogs, Jackson and Otis. We swim in the summer, bowl in the winter, and she has introduced me to the library. I even got a library card last week - my first in years.
Jan. 9 is our graduation party at Mazzola's. It will be one year since our partnership began, and the end of our formal commitment. I'll miss Mary terribly, but we will always stay in touch.
I would like to thank Libby Foster and Erin Murphy at Partners, and Mary's wonderful parents for allowing me to become part of Mary's life. The Partners program always needs mentors, especially men. Please give yourself the best Christmas present ever - become a Partner and help change a child's life.