January 2019: Exploring Together
“Dakkon and I enjoy doing geeky things,” says Jay, a TeamMates mentor since 2014. He and his mentee, now a freshman at Lincoln High School, first met when Dakkon was a fourth-grader at Saratoga Elementary.
“We like creating things” Dakkon says. One of Dakkon’s favorite memories is the Christmas they made origami gifts for friends and family members. “Decorating birthday cookies was cool, too,” he adds.
Dakkon looks forward to his weekly meetings with Jay. Initially matched during second semester, they met throughout the summer their first year together. They have been members of the “24 or More Club” each year since.
Early in their mentor/mentee relationship, Dakkon’s father moved out of town, and Dakkon was struggling. When Jay shared that his dad had moved away when he was young too, they discovered a common bond.
“Although we hit it off easily from the start, our relationship has become much more comfortable,” Jay says. He believes he has learned lessons from his mentee. “He’s taught me how to keep going, even when life is tough.”
Over the years, Jay has seen Dakkon transform from a little boy to an intelligent young man. “He’s taking harder classes and growing in knowledge. He’s very smart,” Jay says with admiration. “When he talks about math formulas, I have no clue!”
Both Jay and Dakkon believe they will remain friends beyond high school graduation. Dakkon plans to become a TeamMate when he gets older. “It’s so fun and enjoyable, and TeamMates can meet for a long time,” Dakkon says.” It makes an impact.”
Jay agrees. “You get to have an experience, watch someone grow, and get involved. You get to give back.”