Project MARS/AmeriCorps collects “Great Stories” from its members in which they reflect on their experiences mentoring in the classroom and the progress they see students making. This month’s story was written by Kristi Odom.
When I first started the Tuesday after Labor Day, I knew I’d be going to Kindergarten, but little did I know what a blessing was in store. I came in and introduced myself, and I noticed a little boy in a wheelchair. I immediately thought, surely he has a one-on-one worker, but then I found out he didn’t.
Physically he may have some challenges, but mentally he is right with his age level. I have never really had experience with a child with his needs, but little did I know the bond we were going to make. He shows me every day that, despite his challenges, he loves life, he loves his school, and he loves his friends.
After a few weeks of spending a lot of time with him each day, we became friends. There were days I wasn’t sure I was what he needed. But then, on a Friday, we were making our way to his ride home, he turned around and looked at me and he said, “I love you, Mrs. Odoms, and I’m going to miss you this weekend.”
I said, “I love you too and I’m going to miss you more.” I realized right there we could face anything together and we were going to create a bond for life. So, despite things might look a little different than what you may have imagined, I encourage you to give it a chance. It might just change your life, because he sure has changed mine.