April 2021 TeamMates of the Month: Someone Who’s Always There
TeamMates Hailey and Becky love to get creative. The artsy pair has tried embroidery, crochet, and made candles together. “I even took my sewing machine to school and she sewed a pillow,” says mentor Becky. Creating pillows has been a highlight for Hailey, a junior at North Star High School. “A lot of the fun in it is thinking about what we’re going to do, planning out the project, and then actually doing it. Seeing it come into place is pretty neat,” says Hailey.
For previous birthdays and holidays, they have decorated cookies and cupcakes. This past school year, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused them to adjust activities, as they currently Zoom weekly. Becky asks Hailey to show her her latest artwork on their calls and says, “She’s a fabulous artist.”
Even pre-pandemic, conversation has always flowed for Hailey and Becky since they first met in 2014. “Sometimes I’d take something to school or have something planned but it ends up a discussion, which is fine, so I find it best to play it by ear and see which direction it goes,” explains Becky.
Conversation topics range from past challenges, to strategies for tackling homework, to Hailey’s love for animals. She loves how she can be “such a nerd” about her love for animals, and Becky will “listen the whole time and agree that it’s all really cool.”
“She just puts a smile on my face,” says Becky. “To see her joy and my joy to see each other, you just can’t replace that. She’s just a delight to be around and hang with for an hour.”
“I think some of what I’ve gained is just being able to have someone who’s always there,” says Hailey. “Maybe not always there in person, but once a week they’re gonna be there to listen to you and that’s really helped a lot.”
“I try to acknowledge what she goes through because everybody’s issues are real, everybody’s feelings are real, and they deserve to be heard,” says Becky. “I think it’s important to have that person that you can tell anything to.”
Becky’s support has meant a lot to Hailey. “I think I’ve gained more confidence. She’s actually one of the people who encouraged me to first get into theatre and that ended up being one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” says Hailey. “She’s always encouraged me in the arts and music. She’s encouraged me in basically everything.”