Meet Denver Kids mentor, Rachel Lange. Rachel and her mentee, Lexi, were matched in April of 2022. Rachel is a new mother and is currently working as a nurse. She enjoys the flexibility the job allows so she can spend time with loved ones and her mentee. We recently spent time speaking with Rachel about her experience as a Denver Kids mentor.
Tell us about yourself
Rachel heard about Denver Kids while working at 2U, one of Denver Kids’ corporate partners. She was a Student Success Advisor and a teammate of hers worked with Denver Kids. “I was looking to get involved with youth again,” says Rachel. She reached out and inquired about becoming a mentor.
What inspired you to become a mentor with Denver Kids?
Growing up, I had a lot of interaction with adults. I had several mentors of my own. It made a big difference to have a consistent person to talk to. It really helped me grow and learn how to communicate with adults at a younger age. When I got older, I wanted to give that back and give positive interaction. I loved the Denver Kids screening process because I believe it makes sure mentors are emotionally ready for the role.
Tell us about your mentee. What do you two like to do together? What are your favorite attributes about your mentee and your relationship?
Alexis, who goes by Lexi, is so cool and amazing. She continues to impress me with how open she is to trying so many different things from food to new activities. A lot of the things we do revolve around food from trying new foods to baking together.
What is your favorite memory with your mentee so far?
Early on, we went to a costume store. For me, nostalgia kicked in and I got to show Lexi a lot of things she had never seen before like finger traps. We dressed up and took fun photos. I got to know a lot about her and learned she isn’t afraid to look silly. She is always willing to try new things. It’s fun to expose someone to things they may have never experienced before.
How does your mentee inspire you and how does she make you proud?
Her ability to be open to things is inspiring. I gave her a list of things we could do together and she was down to do and try it all. She’s confident to try new things. She trusts me and when we hang out, I see her personality grow.
Why do you believe mentoring is important?
Having mentors impacted me and I think it’s important to keep all generations connected. Students keep us young and we can show students new things. We learn from each other and it helps build a bigger sense of community.
What have you learned through being a mentor?
SO MUCH! Patience is one. Even though you may know the answer to something, you have to let them get to that answer themselves. And kids forget to respond sometimes. I’m learning flexibility in planning. Also, it’s a big reflective experience. You reflect on how to make it the best experience for your mentee.
What would you say to anyone considering being a mentor?
For sure do it! It’s fun and makes you take a moment out of your busy life to reset with a person of youth in your community. You get to try new things together. It’s a growth opportunity for not only your mentee but yourself as well, and in a way, it’s a way to revisit youth.