Changemakers, Our Work for Students

Lifting Each Other Up Through Mentoring

Lifting Each Other Up Through Mentoring
— by Yadira Vintimilla, Mentor

Growing up in New York City I didn’t have a mentor or anyone to guide me. I wanted to be an advocate, a mentor for someone. I found that at Champions For Learning. Three years ago I was paired with my mentee Hailey and not only has Hailey inspired me but I have also been able to make a difference in her life.

Being a mentor is more than just giving someone time. It is about watching a student progress and cheering on the student through their successes and being a guide. It is important to me that my mentee knows I am always in her court through the good, the bad and the ugly.

There is real value in being a mentor because not only are you investing in the student but also in the community. Not only am I a mentor, I am a friend to my mentee and know that our relationship will go beyond four years.

The pandemic has not changed our relationship it has helped us to become even closer through our virtual mentoring sessions. We can spend more time with each other virtually and I am still able to see her progress and growth. I am very proud to be a mentor.

The big sister I never had, Yadira Vintimilla
— by Hailey, Mentee

To everyone she is just my mentor, to me she is so much more than that. When I first entered the Take Stock In Children program, the thought of having to interact with a total stranger was a bit intimidating. Meeting Yadira for the frst time, it was an instant connection. The best connection. My favorite thing about my relationship with Yadira is how open we are; our relationship is genuine.

Yadira is truly an inspiration. She truly makes an effort to always be there for me, from school, relationships, jobs, life, she is always present with a smile.

I strive to be like my mentor. I admire her intelligence; I had never met such an empowered woman.

Having a mentor has been the best thing to happen to me. Not only does she guide me academically and pushes me towards my goal of becoming an orthodontist, she also guides me through life. She encourages me to be involved in my community, that is why I volunteer through the American Cancer Society. Thanks to our conversations, I have been able to maturely make decisions that benefit me.

My mentor is a blessing to me and I am so lucky to have her in my life.

Are you interested in becoming a mentor?

Champions For Learning is continuing to recruit mentors for our upcoming needs. If you or someone you know is interested, please join us at an All About Mentoring session, a learning opportunity for individuals seeking to learn more about mentoring. The session will review information regarding the mentoring program and the role and responsibilities of a mentor, including the next steps to getting started.

For more information about becoming a mentor, please contact Kristin Peras at or 239-263-5783.