Lindsay Stalowy is entering her second year as a volunteer at Enka Middle School. Here's what she said about the experience:
"Volunteering as a Mentor at Enka Middle School has been delightfully rewarding for me," said Stalowy. "I meet with my mentee just once a week but the lives of these children can change dramatically in such short periods of time. She has opened my eyes to the struggles that young girls experience in our community."
Stalowy spends around 45 minutes every Tuesday at Enka Middle. Middle school can be a tough time with significant social, emotional, and physical changes taking place all at once. United Way's Middle School Success Initiative aligns partners from a large cross-section of our community to tackle these complex issues together. If any middle school student has 1 or more of the following ABC indicators during their middle grades years - and there is no intervention - their likelihood of high school graduation drops to 25%.
- Attendance- missing 18 days or 10% of school
- Behavior- two or more mild to serious referrals
- Course Performance- failing a core course such as English or Math
"Each morning that we meet I leave feeling more optimistic about the future of our schools and of her path in life. She is truly a shining star and the forty-five minutes that we get together are filled with laughter, sharing, conversations about social media and friendships, and of course pop-culture!"
Together Stalowy and her mentee have navigated the noise that young girls hear in their lives and determined together what is important information, and what is not.
"Besides teaching me about how to use Snapchat, she has taught me the importance of moving on when life gives you lemons and how to nurture the relationships that matter in your life. I truly look forward to 7am on Tuesdays and hope that I am leaving as much of a lasting impression on her as she is on me."
You can become a volunteer just like Lindsay!
Explore and find opportunities that are available right now at Enka, Erwin and Asheville Middle Schools as well as through great partners like Girls On The Run, Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Boys and Girls Club and many, many others. Not convinced? Watch the video below and see how John feels about the experience.