Mentoring: Janis

Mentoring: Janis

Janis is enthusiastic and fun, but she also knows when to listen. She has volunteered for 10 years to mentor students through the Covington Partners Mentoring Program.

When her son left for college, Janis decided she still had a lot to offer a teenager. In an effort to expand the world of her first mentee, she mixed adventure with everyday activities. Their outings ranged from go-cart racing and horse-back riding to painting fingernails. The two arranged outings navigating work schedules and family obligations. Over six years, they laughed, cried, danced, sang and talked a lot.

When Tete graduated, Janis jumped right back into mentoring. Through a series of circumstances she is now mentoring two girls, one at Holmes High School and one at Holmes Middle School. They have very different personalities and interests. Janis says working with the students helps her to see the world differently.

“I can truly say that mentoring has changed my life and focus in all the right ways,” she said.

Often the children are in difficult, sometimes heart-breaking situations, but “they are still smiling and have big dreams they are anxious to share with me,” she said.  “I have learned a lot about poverty, but also a lot about life, fashion, music, art, makeup and cell phones. I’ve seen movies I may not have considered; been to concerts and magic shows I would never have attended, which gives my ‘senior’ world a fresh perspective.”

Janis is now mentoring Skyla – a sophomore she describes as smart, caring and an artist who is interested in marine biology and water conservation. Shawna, her 6th grade-mentee, loves gymnastics and dance.

She can’t what for what the  next adventure with them brings.

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