As they spent more time together, Davis and Alaila found they had more interests in common than they thought. Their bond grew, as they took advantage of the amazing cultural opportunities that Chicago has to offer.
“We both love dancing, so we’ll take dance classes at Hubbard Street Dance Theatre,” Davis said. “She loves basketball, so over the winter we went to a bunch of college basketball games in Chicago.”
They also took advantage of events and activities that Mercy Home offers, like arts and crafts at our Craft Cottage, our Friends First holiday party and our summer picnic.
Yet even with the most careful planning, schedules inevitably get busy and it can be hard for both mentees and mentors to always find time for weekend outings. That is why we encourage mentors to reach out to their mentees over the phone on a weekly basis.
“I know that Alaila looks forward to me calling, and if she happens to miss my call, she’ll call me back,” said Davis. “She’ll often say, ‘I can’t wait to tell you what happened at school today!’ Or, ‘I can’t wait until I see you on Saturday because I’m going to give you all the scoop on what happened these past couple weeks!’”
Mentors initially make a one-year commitment to their mentee, but after getting to know Alaila, Davis decided to commit to another year because she wanted something more than a one-time experience. In the Friends First program, she was able to find the fulfillment she was looking for.