Kristi's Kids

Jan 24, 2013 1:03 AM by Kristi Tedesco

Volunteers wanted to help mentor Kristi's Kids

TUCSON - We all need a little help from time to time especially when we're kids. Who influenced you? A coach or favorite teacher?

January is national mentoring month and we want to celebrate those who are stepping-up. Maybe it will motivate you to help one of Kristi's Kids.

Juana Keita is a senior at Catalina High.

She's an ambitious one. "And my plan is to study medicine."

Juana was born in Liberia and raised in Sierra Leone. She came to the U.S. eight years ago with her single mom.

Beth Underwood has been Juana's mentor.

"It might be a ride to a job interview. It might be help preparing a resume. It might be help interviewing, practice interviewing."

Beth started mentoring kids two and half years ago.

"I give them encouragement to not become discouraged when they apply for a job and they don't get it."

Ronald Wilson gets it. He's president of the Southern Arizona Mentoring Coalition. He's also a presiding judge for the city of South Tucson.

"Frederick Douglas, the great Abolitionist said 'It's easier to build strong children than to repair broken men'" Judge Wilson explains.

He believes any kid at any age can use a mentor not just the troublemakers.

"It helps ensure that our children have all the things that they need, to become responsible adults and hopefully never have to come before myself or a judge in an adult court."

Juana appreciates the time Beth offers her.

"She motivates us like to keep on going. Even the things that are hard. Not give up."

Just a few hours a month and Beth has made her mark.

"It's another thing to be able to sit across the table from someone, especially a younger person, who's making some decisions that are going to impact the rest of their life."

This Friday Kristi Tedesco will help honor local mentors who do so much for kids in our community at a special breakfast with the Southern Arizona Mentoring Coalition at Pima Community College-West. Click here for the details.

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