Kennadi and Kendra

May 2024 TeamMates of the Month: Moving Forward

When a student meets their TeamMates mentor for the first time, it can be a little nerve-wracking. Kennadi remembers she was already “going through a lot” in her young life when she met her mentor, Kendra.

“I thought Kendra would be just another person watching me.” 

Her mentor Kendra felt some pressure too, wanting to be the perfect person for her new mentee. When they had their first meeting, those doubts evaporated. 

“It was very comfortable for both of us. We found out right away our initials were KO – knockout, and we stand by that. I took a picture of Kennadi the day we had our first official meeting, because that was a memory and I knew we’d be building memories.”

That meant being adaptable because Kennadi transferred schools more than once.

“Transitioning to different schools was hard but Kendra came with me to all of them. Everywhere I looked, Kendra was there, supporting me.”

Kennadi admits that Kendra’s dependability has surprised her the most.

“I have a tendency to push people away. I do it without even knowing. When I’m going through a lot, I don’t want to put that on her, but anything I say, she’s like ‘bring it’. She’s such a good listener and after she listens, she gives me great advice.”

Kendra calls it Kennadi’s toolbox.

“I want to set her up for success. When I give her feedback, she’ll take that and move forward with it. We’ll talk about it the following week.”

Kennadi nods.

“She gives me a lot of coping skills. I can take her input and try things out. I can stop and think about her input when I’m in a situation and actually use the things.”

They are creative too says Kennadi. 

“Our signature thing is beaded bracelets. Kendra would bring different beads every week and we’d sort them out, and put our favorites together. I still have all of the ones we’ve made.”

TeamMates service projects have enabled them to share their creative talents with others. Kendra makes it easy, signing up for all of them at the beginning of the year.

“I think we have done every single service project since sixth grade. Kennadi puts other people before her. She wears her heart on her sleeve.”

Being a mentor means a lot to Kendra. 

“I’ve learned that I always can make the time. I wasn’t expecting it to be so important to me. It’s been a life changer.”