Recently the CrossNet Ministries Mentor Program was highlighted in the New Holland PennySaver by Ann Mead Ash. Below is a wonderful article talking about one of the Mentors and their Mentee.
“Mary Lou Reber cannot say enough about her relationship with her mentee, Desiree Clevenstine, who is a senior at Garden Spot High School. “I have gotten a lot from this relationship,” said Reber, who was matched with Clevenstine by CrossNet program director Charis Pankratz. “I love people her age. (Our friendship) makes me feel younger, and that makes me feel wonderful.”
Pankratz brought the two together as part of the CrossNet Ministries Mentoring Program, which is designed to match volunteer adult mentors with ELANCO-area students. Mentors are required to complete background checks and attend a training session. “We want our mentors to be followers of Christ,” said Pankratz. Mentors and mentees are asked to meet together twice a month. CrossNet offers support to both mentors and mentees.
Pankratz first matched Reber with Clevenstine in October of 2016. “The way we match people is by getting to know a little about each person,” explained Pankratz. “I knew Mary Lou because she had attended mentor training, and her husband, Dale, was already involved in the ministry, and I knew Desiree through Girls Connection and some of the other Cross programs.” Both Reber and Clevenstine had completed information sheets, and based on their interests and her grasp of their personalities, Pankratz felt the two would be a good fit.
Reber and Clevenstine began meeting in November 2016 with a light supper at a local ice cream restaurant. After that first dinner, the duo continued to meet for shopping, trips to the movies, and more dining out. “We have a lot of fun going out to eat,” said Reber.
“We tried a lot of new places I had never been before,” added Clevenstine.
“We talk about anything,” noted Clevenstine. “At first, we talked about my friend who was in a car accident, and I got to go see her because Mary Lou took me.” Clevenstine’s friend suffers from memory loss caused by the accident, and Clevenstine mentioned that Reber has been a good sounding board in both that situation and when Clevenstine’s grandfather died. “I was going through some tough times, and I needed someone to hang out with and just talk to,” said Clevenstine.
“A mentor doesn’t fill the friend role,” said Pankratz. “We (all) have people who fill that need. The mentor role is different from that.” Using herself as an example, Pankratz explained, “My mentor is someone who is in a different place in life than I am … someone I can look up to and talk to about things. I ask questions, and she provides guidance.” CrossNet mentor/mentee relationships may continue as long as both parties agree to meet.
Clevenstine currently attends Lancaster County Career and Technology Center for hotel management. After graduation, she plans to work for a year before deciding on a career goal. She is considering becoming an emergency medical technician. There is one thing, however, she knows she would like to do. “I want to be a mentor eventually,” she said.
The next CrossNet mentor training session will be held on Monday, May 15, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the CrossNet Youth Center, 110 W. Franklin St., New Holland. “We serve dinner, and we go through the training manual and discuss various scenarios, and we have time for questions,” said Pankratz.”
Thank you Engle Printing and Publishing. Reprinted with permission.