March 2021 TeamMates of the Month: Strong Character, Good Company
Andru is a Southeast junior who enjoys art and biology, works at a local restaurant, and is learning to play piano. He has been meeting with his TeamMate Chris so long he can’t recall their first visit back in 2012. Then a shy third grader, their meetings often involved Chris asking questions and Andru responding. “He was very quiet at first. I would always try to ask questions but not too many questions where it just gets tedious,” recalls Chris.
Knowing their shared interest in art, Chris began bringing comic books and sketchbooks, and the pair would recreate the cover in their own styles. They played games, too, like Racko and cards, and a ping pong table spurred some fierce competition once they transitioned to Pound Middle School. “Chris brought Racko the other week and that brought back some great memories of elementary school and how we first met,” says Andru.
Andru still enjoys their competitiveness, as well as the conversations they have during games. “I can tell you really anything,” Andru says to Chris.
“Now that he’s older and more mature, he asks me questions too, about either work or home stuff a lot more,” says Chris. “To me, that’s a sign of real maturity, that it’s not just answering questions, it’s asking questions too.”
He admires the young man and leader Andru is becoming. “I see integrity and self confidence about who he is,” says Chris. “He has a strong character…If he can’t make a meeting he makes sure the office knows and they call me in advance so I don’t have to leave work. He’s very trustworthy and responsible that way, and I think that’s really important.”
“I’m just grateful he’s taking time out of his day and busy work schedule to come see me once a week,” says Andru.
Chris doesn’t see mentoring as an obligation, but rather something he looks forward to. “It’s fun. He’s good company and I like him as a person…it’s just enjoyable,” says Chris.
Andru and Chris are looking forward to graduation next year and plan to stay in touch thereafter. While Andru isn’t sure which career path he’ll pursue just yet, Chris has every confidence in him. “Andru has a ton of potential, whatever he does.”