As we begin Cohoes City Life, we are in the process of building relationships with students in the community. I was very nervous the first time I met Peter. I had just become a part of a mentoring program that the City Court Judge in Cohoes had recently started. My wife and I, who decided to co-mentor, were told that Paul would be a fantastic fit, but I had never done an official mentoring program and didn’t know what to expect. At first, he was standoffish, but after about twenty minutes of trying to break the ice he started talking a million words a minute.
Peter started by telling us about his struggles in school, at home and the reasons why he was required by the court to be involved in the mentoring program. It was a very natural relationship and we knew that it would be easy to get to know Peter and hopefully start to make an impact on his situation. As we stood up to leave that first meeting he stopped and said “You guys are awesome, it’s been really easy to talk to you. A lot easier than it is with most adults!” At that moment I knew that we had quickly earned his trust and we have been meeting with him weekly.
He is now on track to graduate high school this year with a little bit of hard work to close out the year. Peter has aspirations to be a cook, like his step dad. We are going to work with him through the graduation process and hopefully help him figure out what his next steps should be.
*Names have been changed