When I first heard about the Fulfillment Fund, I didn’t think I had time enough to properly mentor a young person. I work for a large law firm and my hours can be grueling. Plus, I’d burnt out in the past volunteering for non-profit organizations that were poorly organized, poorly run, and poorly funded. But I did my research and got to know the Fulfillment Fund. I came to understand how well-structured and supported the organization is, the significant resources at its disposal, and its remarkable track record. I decided to go for it.
Turns out the time I spend with my mentee is the most enjoyable and worthwhile personal time I take each month. Not only have my mentee and I developed a strong friendship, but we’re having a blast discovering Los Angeles together … one museum, one Dodger game, one hike or picnic at a time. We talk about life, school, current events. We try out new restaurants and activities (like indoor rock climbing). We scrapbook and bake together. The time I spend with my mentee is the time I take each month to forget myself and whatever madness I have going on in my life and think about someone else. On top of which, I enjoy the immense privilege of being a positive and motivating influence in a special person’s life. I share my experiences with my mentee and she shares hers with me. We problem-solve life’s issues together, support each other, and revel in each other’s successes. In truth, I often wonder if I’m getting more out of the experience than my mentee!
I easily could have justified not becoming a mentor with the Fulfillment Fund – “I’m too busy,” “I have enough to worry about in my own life,” etc. But had I indulged these excuses, I would have missed out on a special opportunity to do something selfless, worthwhile, and fun. This experience has made me a better listener, more open-minded, and more creative, it’s taught me how instrumental one positive person can be in another person’s life, and it’s given me perspective on my own life and personal goals. It’s a gift you can give yourself (and I wish more people would), if only you’re willing to take a leap of faith and make the commitment.