**From a T1L1 Mentor in Maricopa County**
When I signed up to be a mentor with Teach One to Lead One®, I had no idea how much I would love volunteering to mentor these kids. It is so exciting to see the students learn and grow before your eyes in such a short period of time. We are truly changing their lives. I have now mentored through T1L1 for 2 semesters at Devereux and want to share with you about one of he boys that was impacted by the program.
This boy at Devereux is bright, but had lost out on a dream he had to be a rescue swimmer. He felt that he had nothing left to live for and he had even attempted suicide.
When we led the lesson on Courage, we showed a short clip from the movie Simon Birch. In this film, Simon is a middle school boy who had stunted growth, but he is a great leader. In the clip we showed, Simon and his classmates are on a bus that veers off the road and lands in a very cold body of water that is quickly filling the bus. Simon realized that this moment was the purpose of his life – to courageously save his friends. He managed to organize all his classmates on the bus and got them all to safety, risking his own life in the process.
As we discussed this clip, we talked about Simon’s courage and leadership in this situation, pointing out that courage takes confidence and preparation while involving risk with a purpose. I had no idea how this film would make such a big impact on the boy in our class.
At the T1L1 graduation ceremony, we have each student share about which universal principle impacted them the most and why. This young man mentioned the Simon Birch video. He explained how it led him to realize that there are other things he can do to to help others, and that he is now looking at his life and viewing opportunities ahead in a different light.
As T1L1 mentors, we really do impact these at-risk kids. Through the principles we teach, we are helping them find their purpose and potential. But although we are helping them, I feel we learn and grow in our own purpose and potential as these kids impact us as well.
-Tracey Sutton, T1L1 Maricopa County Mentor