Who: Nancy Bowman
Role: Bright Start Mentor
Mentor Since: October 2015
Bright Start is our groundbreaking education program that pairs elementary-age children requiring additional assistance in reading, math, and science with volunteer mentors who meet with students every week for a two-hour session. Trained by Project Hope Alliance and Every Monday Matters, Bright Start mentors function as mentors, coaches, and motivators. Read more about this innovative education program here.
1) WHAT IS YOUR WHY?
My family and my husband's family have been so blessed throughout the years, and I wanted to make a difference in someone else's life. I noticed in our church bulletin that Project Hope Alliance was looking for mentors for a new pilot program, so I applied that Sunday afternoon. I wanted to make someone feel special, important, intelligent, beautiful, and loved. I wanted to be a big sister to someone who is young and starting out in their young life, to be able give them the confidence to become whoever they want to be. To help give them the confidence to get good grades, and to be responsible and respectable to those around them. To give them the confidence to fall down, get back up, dust themselves off, and move forward. To give them the opportunity to love and laugh. To allow them to believe in themselves and make a difference in this world.
2) WHAT COMPONENT OF BRIGHT START DO YOU MOST ENJOY WITH YOUR MENTEE?
I love the times when we laugh together, when she's excited to see me, when you hear she's getting good grades in school, and when you realize you're making a difference in this young person's life.
3) FAVORITE MENTORING MOMENT TO DATE?
I think my favorite moment is when we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach with my mentee and her mother. Her mom works so hard on her education, and my mentee works so hard on becoming a better student. It was so special to enjoy the day together, just the three of us.
4) IN WHAT WAYS HAS MENTORING IMPACTED YOUR LIFE?
Mentoring has impacted my life to be a better person, to use my imagination to come up with things that will keep my student interested during the time we meet, to have more patience, to be more compassionate, to never give up, and to love more.
5) WHO ARE YOU WHEN YOU'RE NOT CHANGING THE LIVES OF OUR YOUNG LEARNERS?
My husband has his own company and works out of the house, so I help him with his business when he needs it. I also help out at our church kitchen Wednesday afternoons. My husband and I belong to a small group through our church where we meet Tuesday evenings. We have been blessed to travel to many places throughout the world and in the states. I also play tennis, ski, bike ride, workout, take cooking lessons on occasion, and take long walks with friends and neighbors.