MMP is proud to announce that the Match of the Month for February is a pair from our Young Parent program! Within MMP’s Young Parent program, young parents are given the opportunity to begin a mentored relationship with someone in the community to help provide them guidance, encouragement, support, and friendship. Our program asks that the mentor and mentee meet at least an hour a week together in activities that both the mentor and mentee can agree on. These activities include anything from trips to the park with the young parent’s child, or just talking one-on-one between mentor and mentee. While choosing this month’s match, MMP staff agreed that Kasey Spencer and her mentee showed a great bond early on in their match. This is why they have been chosen as our match of the month!
Kasey Spencer is a graduate student at Missouri State University in the Social Work program. In her free time, Kasey enjoys spending time with her friends and family and she is also active in her church. Though she maintains a busy schedule of working at the Counseling and Testing Center and at Boys and Girls Town; Kasey always makes sure she includes time for her mentee. Though they have only been matched for three months, Kasey stated that they are very close and connected rather quickly from the very beginning of their match. Kasey shared with MMP that she feels like she and her mentee are very comfortable with each other and they always look forward to their “girl talk” and having fun together. Kasey stated that she loves being a mentor and explained the satisfaction she feels knowing the difference she is making in her mentee’s life. She enjoys the feeling of knowing that her mentee understands that she can always depend on her. Kasey also recognizes the benefits that she has gotten through this mentor relationship. She stated, “being a mentor means I need to set an example. Being her mentor holds me accountable to making good decisions and to demonstrate a healthy lifestyle.”
Kasey’s mentee shadowed the positive feelings of her mentor. She shared with MMP that she considers Kasey more like a best friend rather than a formal mentor. She stated that she feels thankful to be matched with someone who she can talk to about anything. This MMP participant told staff that she is noticing that her issues with anger have improved because she can now talk to Kasey and get her feelings off of her chest instead of bottling them like she would in the past. Her mentee also raved about how well Kasey has gotten along with her daughter. She laughed as she shared that every time her daughter sees Kasey, she runs up to her to sit on her lap. Just recently, Kasey’s mentee shared with staff that she and her fiancé have set a date for their wedding day. As soon as they set the date; Kasey was asked by her mentee to be her Maid of Honor on her special day. Her mentee stated that Kasey is her closest friend here so it just made sense to have her there on this day.
MMP staff asked both of these participants to give light to their secret of creating such a positive mentoring relationship. Both mimicked each other in stating that trust is the key. Kasey added that being open and honest with your mentee will allow them to feel comfortable with being open and honest with you in return.
MMP is honored that we have been a part in watching this friendship develop. Both Kasey and her mentee are what our program is all about, and it is our goal to soon have success stories such as this one for many new matches to come! Congrats ladies!