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October 12, 2020

Mentoring in the COVID Era

Jorge Sanchez is a mentee here at Friends-SF who thrives in social situations and has a strong bond with his Mentor Cedric. Prior to Covid, Jorge’s family and teacher told Cedric that he was becoming more confident and could concentrate for longer and longer periods of time.

Although the pandemic has made it challenging to communicate with him, his mentor Cedric has excellent relationships with the staff at Jorge’s school and has kept abreast of Jorge’s improvement in both reading and writing. The two stayed in touch remotely by way of video chats but hadn’t seen each other in person for over six months.

To reward Jorge’s progress during this challenging time, Cedric decided to give Jorge a Lego set of his choice and to deliver it personally. Cedric was expecting simply to drop the gift off on Jorge’s doorstep and wave from the curb but, when he answered the door, Jorge insisted that Cedric stay for as long as it took to build his very own dragon made of Legos.

Cedric brought out a lawn chair that he happened to have in his car, sat down about 10 feet from Jorge’s doorstep, and the two of them proceeded to talk nonstop for nearly an hour while Jorge built his dragon. Before parting ways, Jorge excitedly agreed to continue “outings” like this, and the two made plans for Cedric to come by with books so they could work on his reading together. Jorge’s smile made Cedric’s day.

A simple drop-off thus became a heartwarming reunion, Jorge was rewarded for his academic progress, and that lawn chair has now become a staple in Cedric’s mentoring tool kit.

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