Why I mentor kids

A dear friend asked my recently, “Why did you get started volunteering/mentoring kids?” I thought for a second.. that answer needs conversation over a cup of coffee..

My initial answer is LOVE. My heart is my greatest asset & greatest weakness. Part of the reason I’m on this earth is to love others & share unconditional love. I’ve been blessed to understand the true meaning of love, its purpose and experience many shades of love. We NEED love to survive.

I grew up an only child. I was loved. I was shown great love and taught about the importance of loving others. When I hit my 30s, it hit me hard!  I finally understood one of my purposes on this earth.. loving others (hard) especially kids in need.

I love kids, I have always loved kids and always found myself teaching kids. When my husband and I decided not to have kids of our own, I told him I wanted to volunteer. My decision not to be a mom helped me realize I wanted to be involved in possibly helping 1 or more kids that could use some extra love.

In 2009, I started volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank. I started a broadway dance class, tap classes & a performance/competition dance team. They won multiple awards & trips all across the country to perform. I can only hope I left them with love in their hearts & memories they will remember for a lifetime.

In 2016, I heard about a program called Kids Hope at my church. It’s one child, one mentor, one hour, one day a week. I was thinking about trying a one-on-one relationship in the future, but I knew I had to do this when I started crying watching the promo video.

For the past 3 years, I have had the privilege of mentoring 2 young boys that have taught me as much as I’ve taught them. Sharing my heart with kids in need have created some of the most fulfilling moments of my life. When they lean in and whisper in my ear, “I love you Miss Michelle..” or randomly grab my hand to hold.. (you know little boys – this is HUGE) it’s just makes my heart explode!

I want to make a difference in people’s lives. I am willing to stand in the gap for anyone that needs me. When any kid, teen or adult (who am I kidding), sees me and comes running for a hug, sends me a text from college, wants to sit down for advice, giggles or laughs uncontrollably because of what I did or said.. that’s why I mentor.  I have to.. my heart NEEDS to share LOVE!  (It’s why I’m here).

Michelle xo

C is for Commit

Ask any artist the first “C” word that comes to mind – I bet it is Create.  When I sat down at the beginning of the year that is what I wrote down for my “C”.  Now it’s a month into the year, and I find another word not only in my mind, but on my heart..

Commitment – Saying something and holding true to your word.

Commit – Trying something new or uncomfortable (outside your box) and just going for it!

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NEVER underestimate the power of words.  We have all been hurt but them, excited by them, let down by them or inspired by them.  I work with a lot of teenagers and I try to be very conscious of following through with what I say.  I don’t want to disappoint them by promising something & forgetting.  I hope to inspire them by showing them not only the power of a promise, but weight of a commitment.

imageTeachers, coaches and mentors are in a position to influence & inspire.   I have been blessed to re-connect with some of my most favorite mentors & teachers throughout my life, and yet again as an adult (gotta love Facebook).  I took the opportunity to say THANK YOU to them for their commitment & encouragement. They made a great difference in my life and I am sure in many others.  I have not forgotten.  It’s usually the little things we don’t think about that can make a HUGE difference.

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I am committed to encouraging & inspiring youth every day, whenever I can.  I hope one day to be someone they can come back to with gratitude.  I do it not for the hope of a thank you,  I do it because I know my commitment, love & encouragement will make a difference!

I also commit to trying new things this year. Why not?  What do I have to lose?  Don’t like it, check it off and I don’t do it again.

For my business, I commit to sharing & encouraging the “Be-Loved” theme throughout this entire month.  Not only does it allow me to create some great treatments & blends (for the artist in me), it allows me to pay attention to “the little things..”

Besides, who couldn’t use a little more LOVE?

#TellYourStory2014