The importance of mentoring |

The importance of mentoring

Dear Editor:

I was very fortunate to grow up with loving parents in a nurturing environment. As a teenager living in Costa Rica, I considered life “pura vida” (good life).

But I also remember my time as a 13-year-old young man. At home I had a great time getting along with my siblings and neighborhood friends. At school it was a different story.

I was a skinny redhead and very shy. I was a newcomer to the country, having just moved from Panama. I had no friends and felt a little out of place in class.

This is when my mathematics teacher, Don Mario Alvarez, came to my assistance. Although at the time I did not know the meaning of the word “mentoring,” he became a supporter and someone I could trust.

Don Mario, as we called him, knew that I needed a helping hand. He knew that with encouraging words and kind actions I could modify my personality a bit and improve my possibilities to become something bigger, to succeed in life.

He be came my unofficial “mentor” and friend.

He taught me that I had a special gift that was to be given to the world, that each one of us is different, and that being different is all right.

He gave me positive messages that created fertile soil for my ideas and dreams.

There are many stories similar to this one, happening throughout the world every single day.

Here in the Roaring Fork Valley we have an amazing entity that supports our youth with dedicated mentors. Our very own Buddy Program.

As we celebrate Mentoring Month, I am very grateful to be part of this organization, and the many young lives it has supported!

Luis Polar

Board of Directors

The Buddy Program

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