When did you get involved with Making It Better? I originally got involved with Making It Better in 2016 during Read Aloud Month and jumped on the opportunity to get involved with Lunch Bunch when my colleagues approached me about it later that year. My first Lunch Bunch session started in January 2017 at Walnut Bend Elementary.
How did you get involved? I was introduced to Making It Better through my colleagues at Post Oak Bank. Joni Burner and Kris Lyons also volunteered during Read Aloud Month and recruited me to join them. When they were approached about Lunch Bunch, they also invited me to join and I happily obliged!
What's your most memorable moment with your students in Lunch Bunch? There were so many memorable moments with my girls at Walnut Bend, but the one that stands out the most was when one of my girls finally opened up. She was extremely shy when she first joined us, but after spending some time with us, she was so eager to share her thoughts and ideas with us. She mentioned that she looked forward to Lunch Bunch every week, and it just warmed my heart so much that she enjoyed her time with us as much as we did!
In your own words, why is mentoring so important? I believe mentoring is important because who doesn't need guidance or direction?! Witnessing and hearing about each other's experience can open our eyes and minds to different dynamics in life that can perhaps lead us in the right direction.
What's your favorite children's book? My favorite children's book is Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess. It was such a fun book to read to my son, Bruce, and I also discovered that my students at Piney Point loved it as much as I did! I made sure the class had a copy in their classroom so they can read it to their heart's content! I always remind Bruce to be
What's your favorite Lunch Bunch lesson? My favorite Lunch Bunch lesson is on bullying where I would read One by Kathryn Otoshi to the students. The book demonstrates how everyone is different and encourages them to stand up or speak out for themselves and others. One illustrates the impact of what one person can do, but also inspires everyone to join collectively to protect one another.
What do you like to do in your spare time? During my spare time, I enjoy baking or jogging. I find both of these activities to be very cathartic. I find this is when I'm in my deepest mode of concentration and both help me increase clarity and peace.
Why would you recommend getting involved with Making It Better? I highly recommend getting involved with Making It Better because these kids are our future. If we can make just one tiny positive impact in their lives, it can go a long way!
Do you have anything else you would like to share? I grew up with six siblings in a small fishing town where we were often considered different and unwelcomed. Our parents loved us and did whatever it took to care for us; however, they were not always present to help us with homework or everyday challenges, such as bullying or other typical social issues that kids experience. Also, English was not their first language, so they couldn't really help us with any school subjects other than math. My siblings and I were very fortunate that we didn't necessarily have to be told that we needed to do well in school and graduate from college to be successful. Somehow, we just knew and strove to do our best so that we wouldn't have to perform hard labor on a boat for sometimes 12+ hours a day and sometimes in not so good weather conditions. We feel blessed that we all had each other to lean on, and we all ended up fairly successful. Some of these kids might not have someone else to lean on, and I hope that I, or any other mentor, can be there for them.