Jessica and Sachi

April 2018 TeamMates of the Month:  Try Everything

Jessi Sandberg has mentored multiple students with TeamMates for over a decade. “I’ve always had a passion for working with students,” she says looking to her mentee, Sachi. The pair have been meeting since the beginning of Sachi’s sophomore year at Southwest High School.

Sachi is “shy,” but her reserved façade barely contains the force of positive energy at her heart. She is a young woman with varied and eclectic pursuits. Plus, she has the drive to explore those pursuits. “She’s always surprising me with her interests.” Jessi says.

Sachi is a senior this year, preparing to move on to the next phase. Through LPS’ Career Academy at Southeast Community College, she has already earned the credit equivalence of one year toward her associate’s degree. After she completes her degree, she plans to transfer to a 4-year program. “Then I want to go on to be an animator.” She says. Just another one of her many pursuits. Sachi loves to draw. She hopes to be a storyboard artist.

It is obvious from the start that Jessi and Sachi like each other. They smile a lot and laugh at one another’s jokes. They have good chemistry. The pair truly never hesitates to try a new thing, either. Whether it be playing games like Jessi’s favorite “Shut the Box,” baking, crafting or playing music they are always trying something different. Mostly because Sachi is always ready to indulge a new interest.

“I like to try new things.” Sachi says as they begin to list the projects they have picked-up and tried during their time together. The list includes learning to play harmonica, baking a soda cake and almond flour muffins, and learning to play the ukulele.

“I tried to teach myself,” Sachi says, “but that didn’t go so well.” So instead, being the enterprising type, she found a group of like-minded ukulele enthusiasts in town that meets regularly. Sachi is a doer.  She meets the group to practice two nights a week.

She flips through her songbook and finds a tune to help demonstrate her abilities. It starts out quiet but gains confidence, turning into a sound that is sweet and calm like an island breeze. Her efforts are paying off.

She is certainly grateful for her mentor. After being put on the waitlist for a short time, Sachi was not sure she would get a mentor at all. Then Jessi came into her life and now they are like two peas in a pod.

Looking toward graduation, it is easy to see that they will miss their regular visits, but the time they have spent together has been priceless.  “Sachi and I have learned so much and grown with each other over the last three years,” says Jessi. “We give each other different perspectives and we each have a unique point of view.”

When asked what she might say to others about becoming a TeamMate Jessi replies, “I would definitely consider it.” Trying new things can be scary, but when they succeed, there is nothing better. Just ask Sachi. She knows all about trying new things.