Students open up with mentors
Juwana Owens joined iC.A.R.E. Mentoring, a program of United Way of Summit County, in August 2016. She still finds it difficult to believe the Anderson sisters – her mentees from Roswell Kent Middle School – are related.
While Takiera, an eighth grader, is reserved and quiet, Takiyah is the complete opposite. But both girls have benefitted from the mentoring experience with Owens so far this school year.
“I’m more open now and more independent,” seventh grader Takiyah says. “I feel popular and more confident; I think about Juwana’s influence on me, too. I already have better grades in language arts.”
Takiyah, who is trying out for Roswell Kent’s basketball team, plans on participating in the school’s talent show as well.
“My group’s act involves a dance and flips,” she says. “When I think about seeing Juwana in the crowd, I know I can do this.” Ultimately she’s interested in growing up to be a professional gymnast, or a journalist, veterinarian or doctor.
“We talk about what Takiyah could do differently and better than the previous week,” Owens says. “It’s good for Takiyah; she and her sister live with a relative, plus another sibling and two cousins. Even Takiera has talked with me more since I started mentoring her.”
Owens, who mentors within the Garfield and Kenmore clusters, has fostered two four-year-old children at her home for two years. She didn’t mind which grade level she mentored; she simply enjoys hearing about good outcomes as a result of iC.A.R.E.
“What I most love about iC.A.R.E. Mentoring is that it makes a difference,” Owens says.