Sarah Garcia became a mentor at The Home in October after donating clothing and other items to our Annual Garage & Estate Sale. She said she wanted to support an organization that served women and children and was drawn to our mission to promote healing and growth in children, young adults and families by providing a continuum of care, support and resources. After attending our Volunteer Orientation, Sarah was matched with one of the residents at The Home. Sarah and her mentee spend the majority of their time together off campus. To increase the impact of her visits and mentorship, Sarah works to make each outing educational. Sarah and her mentee have explored local hiking trails and taken advantage of the natural beauty in Austin. These outings allow the pair to exercise and catch up with each other. Sarah and her mentee also have their own book club. “We go to a book store every other week and pick out a new mystery novel or poetry book. Two weeks later we discuss the parts of the book we did and didn’t like. Then we pick out another one!” Sarah said of their book club.
The goal of The Home’s mentor program is to facilitate a healthy relationship with an adult and give residents the chance to get the one-on-one attention they crave. Additionally, Sarah and her mentee have been able to find common interests and try new activities together.
As a mentor to a resident at The Home, Sarah acknowledges that mentoring can be difficult at times. “I think the most challenging aspect about volunteering at The Home is recognizing the adversity these young ladies have faced and seeing that manifest in their emotions and physical behavior. It can be heartbreaking. Because they are at The Home, I know they are receiving the emotional guidance and education to overcome the adversity. My mentee’s Therapist/Supervisor is incredible. It is admirable that she has a big heart and is strong enough for these young women to rely on,” said Sarah.
Sarah’s personal connection to mentoring at The Home comes from having strong women in her own life who guide her in the right direction despite her own adversity. She said she remembers being a teenager and not always appreciating the advice of her mentors. Sarah feels her mentorship is most meaningful because she can relate to the idea that sometimes having someone closer to your own age to lean on can be helpful. “I can be that role model for a young woman and offer meaningful understanding, acceptance and guidance,” she said.
When she’s not spending time with her mentee at The Home, Sarah enjoys traveling and being outdoors. She takes a solo trip each year to a different state; last year she enjoyed Washington and Tennessee. On the weekends, Sarah can be found paddle boarding on the lake, hiking or reading a book in bed with a hot cup of tea.
The Home is grateful to our mentors like Sarah, who provide support, encouragement and fun to our residents.