Community Success Stories Mentoring

“Breezie and her sister, Kabreya were matched with their mentor, Vania in April 2014. They were 10 and 8 years old, respectively. The girls lived with two older sisters and their grandmother, Beverly, who was raising them. At the time of the match, the girls’ mother was not in a position to keep them and their father was incarcerated. Beverly would get overwhelmed at times, and wanted them to be matched with someone whom she could trust, and who would be good to them.

The primary reason that Beverly wanted Breezie and Kabreya to have a mentor was because that would provide her with someone who could help the girls, “to do things that their family isn’t able to do.” Beverly saw the potential in the girls since they were good students and were interested in participating in extracurricular activities.

There have been many activities that Vania, Breezie, and Kabreya have done together; some have become traditions. They have gone to the circus, out to eat, to the movies, they have participated in a paint class at the Centre Market, had a Easter and Valentine’s party at Vania’s home, made crafts together, and they scrapbook memories of what they have done together. Breezie and Kabreya spend Christmas Eve with Vania’s family, who consider the girls part of their family also. The girls even helped decorate for Vania’s shower.

Vania has been a very dedicated mentor, even through some trying personal times as well as working shiftwork in her job as a nurse. She has given birth to a premature baby and also had to take care of her ailing father. Even though she knew that she wouldn’t be able to see Breezie and Kabreya for a time, she would call and assure them that she wouldn’t forget about them. They understood the reason they would see her less, and treasure the times they do get to spend with Vania. According to Beverly, the girls always want to buy presents for “their little sister” (Vania’s baby). Their relationship is very solid and loving.

Beverly has come to rely on Vania. Once, one of the girls got into some trouble at school, and Beverly asked Vania to talk with her. Vania took her out to dinner and discussed some coping mechanisms that could be used in the future. Also, Kabreya has had some medical issues due to a congenital heart issue and has to undergo surgery in Morgantown. Vania, who is a pediatric nurse spent time with Kabreya there. She was invaluable in explaining to Beverly some of the medical procedures and terms, and calmed and encouraged Kabreya. Beverly feels that Vania has been a godsend to her grandchildren.”

– Youth Services System