Many great leaders come to mind when I hear the term “Aspire”. Leader’s such as Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, and even President Barack Obama; all of which aspired to stand for something greater than themselves. We all should aspire do something great in our lifetime, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be in the limelight to do so. Throughout my life I have always asked God to place me in a position where I am able to give back to my community and, more importantly, positively impact someone’s life. Both of these aspirations came into fruition the moment I joined the Aspire Movement.
I have the great honor and pleasure of serving as a mentor to Lorenzo Davis, a 5th grader at Restoration Academy. Serving as a mentor has been an incredible experience. I have learned so much about Lorenzo, and I have learned even more about myself. When I first met Lorenzo it was a rather difficult time in his life. He had experienced a loss in his family, and as a result it affected his self-esteem and performance in the classroom. I met with his mother to gather her expectations for Lorenzo and what she hoped that he would gain from me mentoring him. As we talked, the conversation ended with her telling me how much she truly wants him to be successful. Our conversation showed me how much she truly cared about his well-being, and led me to believe that she saw the potential in him to be great and needed me to be the person to pull it out of him.
Me and Lorenzo’s first conversation was very straightforward and to the point. I told him how much I truly cared and believed that he could be the best that he could be. However, the thing that stood out the most, in our initial conversation, is when I asked why his grade were so low in a particular class? His answer was a shrug of his shoulders and “I’m not smart enough.” I informed him that he was smart enough and I proceeded to challenge him to change is way of thinking and to never doubt himself. He accepted that challenge and here we are a little over a year after our first meeting, and he seems to be more focus than ever. His performance in school has been exceptional and he has grown a lot more confident in himself.
Being a mentor has taught me a lot about patience not only with other people, but also with myself. I have experienced a lot in my life since I became involved in Lorenzo’s life, and seeing how he has risen above adversity has encouraged me to remain steadfast and rooted in my faith in God. Again, I am honored to be a part of the Aspire Movement and look forward to continuing my role as a mentor.