Listen: As a wrap up for Milwaukee Mentors, a consortium of five organizations that provide mentors for youth in Milwaukee, I put together bits of interviews from four middle schoolers who are part of the YMCA's One on One program (pictured below). I managed to catch up with them while they were on a field trip to the Urban Ecology Center's Fall Festival at Riverside Park. They were there with YMCA staff, feeding snakes, getting their faces painted, and being serenaded by a mandolin orchestra while they ate potatoes (it was a really fun event).
With a chance to talk to them apart from their mentors, I decided to make an attempt to draw out some candid opinions about their mentors, the program, and what mentorship means to them. The following four clips are a summary of what I took to be the typical middle schooler's path with a mentorship organization, from beginning and uncertainty to active involvement and familiarity. Most youth in need of mentorship aren't looking for a complete overhaul in their life -- oftentimes, they just want something to do that's productive. In this first clip, Jeremiah shares what he would be doing without the One on One program: