Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing


on January 25, 2011

It’s “Match Day” and I’m a little bit nervous.  In November, I filled out an application to become a mentor for the Volunteers of America Children of Promise Program. Specifically the Children of Promise Program of Western Washington is as follows:

Mentoring Children of Promise (MCP) is a program of Volunteers of America Western Washington. The children enrolled in our program have at least one parent who is incarcerated or involved in the criminal justice system. We match kids from King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties with a volunteer mentor, allowing the child to have a consistent adult in their life to have fun with.

Mentors must be 21 or older, have access to an insured vehicle, and be able to commit to spending 8 hours a month for 2 years with a child in a fun, healthy relationship. Initial and ongoing training and support are provided.

After clearing all the background checks, having a home visit, and having references speak on my behalf, the day has finally arrived when I will meet my mentee. And it’s a little like a first date. I even went to vacuum out the car! Will she like me? What will we talk about? etc.

Mentors have been around for a long time. Some famous mentor/mentee matches include: Dumbledore mentored Harry Potter, Yoda mentored Luke Skywalker, and Maya Angelou mentored Oprah Winfrey. Check out the Volunteers of America Western Washington Blog to read more about famous mentor/mentee matches.

I first heard about the Children of Promise Program when I was researching for my young adult manuscript, “Illusions.” In my story, one of my characters has a father in prison. Having also often worked with kids at Denney in the poetry workshop, many of whom have a parent in prison, I knew somethings about kids with a parent in prison. However, it took awhile before I felt I was ready to commit to being a mentor.

I’m looking forward to this new journey, and having fun with my mentee.

And if being a mentor is something you might be considering, go here to find out more.


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