Jim, one FORGE mentor, is a retired gentleman who has always been passionate about working with and mentoring kids. He has been matched with Junior for almost three years.
Junior and Jim have enjoyed a variety of activities together: driving RC cars, going to hockey games, going to the shooting range, and flying hand-held drones. One of the most unique activities they have done is using Jim’s pilot license to soar in a few-passenger plane over the Tri-Cities.
Junior recalls flying over a local mountain and waving to the people below. “On the plane,” Jim shared, “there are no distractions and we can just talk, listen, and build our relationship.”
While flying is certainly a unique FORGE experience, Jim also recently taught Junior how to ride a bike. I’m sure most of us remember the time we learned to ride a bike or the person who taught us. Riding a bike is a milestone for many kids. A rite of passage, a step toward independence.
Now, Junior and Jim ride their bikes together and get to share the experience. Junior explained how even just riding a bike with Jim makes him feel less lonely.
Jim said, “Just be a mentor. You can make a big difference with a small investment.” While you may not be able to take your future mentee flying over the city or even launching bullets at a peanut from yards away as Jim and Junior did, you can make a difference.
Junior exclaimed, “If you want to help kids, there are a million fun things you can do together, kids just want you to be there for them.”
Being a mentor is as easy as riding a bike. Becoming a mentor is a milestone. A rite of passage toward serving your community– and you never know what might come of it until you try!