Disorder in the Court
I was recently in a meeting with our mentoring team and I was so impacted by this story I have to pass it along to you.
Not your average mentoring program
As a setup you need to understand that mentoring, Family Guidance Style is not your average mentoring. We strive to work with youth who have been bounced around and come from difficult situations with challenging behavior and attitude problems. Here is a story from the Family Guidance case files.
In good times and bad
Picture a courtroom in downtown Pittsburgh. The young fifteen year old girl named Janice standing before the judge has been picked up for shoplifting. Her family is nowhere. But in the front row are her mentor and a Family Guidance staff person. The FGI staff member leans to the mentor and says “this has been difficult with Janice, do you want to transfer to another mentor on the waiting list?” The Mentor looks her straight in the eyes and says, “of course not, I’m in this for the long hall. What message would it send if I bail when it gets difficult? I have been with Janice for 5 years and it has not been easy but that is why I’m here.”
The kids we serve
Janice has been in an out of homelessness due to her mother’s mental illness. She has basically been on her own, dropped out of school and aimless. The only constant, a faithful mentor who would track her down, offered help, counsel and pray but most importantly a positive friend.
The Judge, weighing her previous violations, sentences Janice to a local youth detention facility. As Janice is leaving court she gets angry and makes a scene, kicking chairs and needing to be restrained.
Mentors = hope
The next week her mentor traveled to the detention center to visit her. That would be her only visitor for the week. As they were meeting Janice began to cry and proceeded to tell the mentor this. “I am so sorry for kicking the chair, I was angry and I didn’t care. But I thought about you in the courtroom and I was embarrassed that I acted that way in front of you”.
A glimmer of hope.