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My Favorite Things – A Mentor

One of my favorite things are mentors.

I speak from both my heart and experience. I would not be where I am today without the input of extraordinary people who invested time and wisdom into my life. Following in their footsteps I have mentored many as well. One particular experience stands out.

Last year I was asked to be a mentor at our local high school. My job was to encourage students who were struggling socially and academically. While it takes personal time, it is greatly needed.

The day I had scheduled a mentoring session, I also had a deadline to send a chapter of my new book to my editor. I was also bombarded with phone calls that demanded immediate prayer and attention. So I will admit that by the time I arrived at the high school, I was frazzled and brain-dead.

All mentors must sign in upon arrival, and tell the school’s administrative secretary the name of our student.

She then calls the student to the office.

After signing in, I asked the secretary, if she would call Nicholas Sparks, to the office. Even as I write this, I think how much blonder can I get?

However, she went right along. Without missing a beat she began her search for Nicholas Sparks.  Apparently, she was hoping that the famous bestselling author, who had numerous movies produced based upon his books, would be at her local school. Unfortunately, when she checked her computer he wasn’t. She said, “ I have no record of a Nicholas Sparks.”

Quite defiantly I said, “Well keep looking because he’s there, I have mentored him several times already and he’s doing quite well”.

 She went back to her computer and methodically continued her search.

The young student who was her helper, and just as southern as a Georgia peach, said, “I’ve heard of Nicholas Sparks before, but I don’t think he goes to this school.” Really!?!

Standing there, the wheels began turning and I didn’t like the direction they were going. I‘ve been living with myself a long time. This wasn’t my first rodeo at creating confusion and chaos. I knew without a doubt my mentee’s name was Nicholas. I had prayed for him since the moment we met, his journey to graduating would be difficult, next to impossible.  I also knew the name Nicholas Sparks. Yet at that precise moment my frazzled mind didn’t remember that my young mentee’s name wasn’t Sparks. Not even close.

Finally, one of the teachers apparently overheard our conversation. I am sure she couldn’t believe what we were saying. If it had been any other day, I wouldn’t have either.

To her credit, she didn’t acknowledge our madness.

She said, “Nicholas Sparks is a famous author.”

Now that was my AHH Moment. If the light didn’t come on then, it wasn’t going too. Right then every book Nicholas Sparks had authored came to my mind followed by his movies.

And the search for Nicholas Sparks ended.

However the search for mentors hasn’t ended. In fact, they are desperately needed.

Think about becoming one. There’s a young student, a young mom, or young man just waiting for YOU to invest in them. I’ll bet even Nicholas Sparks had a mentor.

I am sure you would make a great one.

I’d love to hear your mentoring story, or maybe you would like to salute someone who mentored you and helped you become better at what you do, or who you are. Now is the perfect time to say thank you. Let me hear from you.


Frankie Sherman is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire, a blogging community created by Annie Jennings.