Thursday, December 3, 2009


My apologies for my tardy blog, but I had to let this one marinate, and the more I sat with it, the more it breathed into life. I am in my 12th year of doing this amazing work with Tony, and my 18th year in working with young people (yeah you heard me – 18! I started when I was 2!). And some days are harder than others. Some days, I am tired, a little beat up, and just plain done. But I put one foot in front of the other and do what is in front of me, and that is when the miracles happen, when the people I have the privilege of working with nourish my soul and remind me how blessed I am.

Not a broken economy, broken homes or broken hearts can break the spirits of our family of mentors and mentees. Yesterday, I was feeling a little blah, and was grateful for the opportunity to go to an information session at one of our corporate partners, where we get to sucker employees into becoming mentors by bringing past mentors and mentees to talk about their experience in our program. Easy-peasy. But this particular info session had a melancholic bitter sweetness to it. This was a program we thought we had lost, but thankfully, due to the remarkable philanthropic environment that exists in this wonderful company we are able to continue to mentor young people in their offices. Sadly they had to lay off some of the most dedicated mentors we had. This however, was not enough to keep one of them from asking to continue to volunteer with YMC, and help coordinate the program so that she could stay connected to us, and the kids. “It is not easy to come back here after being laid-off trust me, but this is how powerful this program is, and how much it means to me, and how much it has changed my life”. I started to feel small and petty. Griselda spoke next. She was a mentee for 2 years in this program. “I came into this program not trusting, because I just don’t trust anyone with my life. And when I met Tracy, I thought she was fun, but I was still skeptical. It took a long time, but slowly I saw that I could trust her, and talk to her about my dysfunctional family, and I never felt like she judged me. I really believe that it is because of her and YMC that I am where I am today. Because they believed in me, and told me that I could do anything I set my mind to.” Griselda works for YMC and is a mentor to one of our middle school girls. I began to feel grateful.

When I got back to the office, I was doing my job ;-) by checking my facebook, and was intrigued by one of our mentor’s plea to help his wife’s challenge to see “How much difference can one person make”. I have to preempt this by saying that we have considered doing an off-shoot of YMC and calling it DMC for Danni’s Mentoring Connection for all this magnificent woman has done, not only for a gaggle of mentees, but for YMC as well. For her birthday she has asked her friends to donate to YMC, and see how much of a difference she can make. And I was feeling blah????? Seriously???? How dare I? I am speechless.

So thank you Debrah for introducing me to my bliss. Thank you Tony for teaching me and helping me live my truth. And thank you to all my heroes, MENTORS AND MENTEES, who remind me how unbelievably fortunate I am to have the most rewarding, beautiful and soulful life I could have ever asked for.

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