Here are just a few of Tabor’s successful mentoring relationships! Read about them below!
Tom and Joe
Sometimes I equate being a mentoring specialist with being a matchmaker as there is often the element of fate involved. Tom Sinnamon and his mentee, Joe*, have been matched for about 18 months, and both joined the program in a unique way.
Tom was the first person to answer the very first newspaper ad I had placed for the then fledgling program. Tom called up and said, “I was sitting in church this morning, thinking I really ought to get more involved and I came home and opened the newspaper and there was your ad.” Tom is a long-time resident of Central Bucks, where he currently resides with his wife and they raised their four children and recently welcomed their first grandchild. Tom works in biotech sales.
Joe’s caseworker had contacted me in March 2011, saying that Joe was graduating in June and needed help getting into college. With many college deadlines behind us, I quickly met with Joe, who shared that he only wanted a mentor to help with college and not a traditional mentor to perhaps form a bond with. I explained the situation to Tom, who was happy to help any way he could.
Tom and Joe met shortly after and took to the task of helping Joe get into culinary school. Tom took Joe to admissions interviews, financial aid meetings, and to look at apartments. By the time school started, Joe had approached me to ask that although he had only asked for Tom to be his college mentor, would it be okay if they continued to meet.
“Absolutely!” I said. It was my dream as a mentoring specialist!
Tom and Joe have continued to meet to discuss future plans and just have some fun. Tom has supported Joe through some difficult transitions from living in group home to living independently in a city. Tom has been there when things have not gone Joe’s way or a plan has fallen apart. Tom has shared that he is determined to never stop fighting for Joe. Joe has shared that Tom is a role model and he really looks to him for advice.
What started out as a temporary situation has begun to evolve into a lifelong connection for both Joe and Tom.
Rich and Tom
It was immediate. As soon as I introduced Tom* and his mentor, Rich Seidner, I could tell they had a special connection. It was a Friday afternoon in February 2011 when Tom and Rich bonded over sports, politics, current events, and well more sports. They both bleed Eagles green and share a passion for the Phillies, Sixers, and the Flyers. In the almost three years since they have met, they have attended Eagles, Phillies and Sixers games – one time they were even caught on camera!
When Tom moved out of the area for an educational opportunity, he and Rich stayed connected through email and caught up on breaks and weekends. Sometimes their meetings are as simple as grabbing a bite to eat or running errands. They have also enjoyed working out together or shooting hoops. Both would agree that over the years they have become solid friends and look forward to the time they spend together.
Most importantly since I have met Tom, I have seen him take on both challenges and opportunities with maturity and conviction. It is my humble opinion that the support Rich offers Tom contributes to the confidence he exhibits as he move into adulthood.
Rich has offered the following about his experience, “If there is one thing that has really surprised me about my experience in the mentor program, it’s how much that I have learned from Tom. His life experiences, his perseverance and positive attitude have taught me a lot. If you go into the program with your eyes wide open there is as much to gain as there is to give.”