Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Video Mentors: The Next Generation of Mentoring

Taped to my office wall is a receipt.  The back of that receipt is an Infinite Family time capsule...my doodles and scribbles as Amy Stokes and I tried to come up with the name for our organization and our volunteer mentors way back in 2005.

We did hit on one thing that stuck. That scrap of paper bears the words "Net Buddies", which we use to this day to describe the relationship our mentors and mentees build with one another.

And buddies they are.  Planning for the future, sharing music and laughter, struggling over math problems or creating art online -- our Net Buddies brighten each others' worlds every week via webcam and whiteboard during their weekly video chats.

Our Net Buddies have expanded the definition of mentoring relationships.  They've taken them global and they've taken them online.  They have perfected the art of screen sharing as well as the chemistry of what makes mentoring relationships tick.

So, during Volunteer Appreciation Week, we would like to thank all of you, our Net Buddies, who make Infinite Family what it is today.

Our gratitude for our Video Mentors is best expressed by one of our South African Net Buddies as she recently wrote:

"I love Infinite Family very, very much. Thank you for changing my life. Since I've been a Net Buddy things have been changed in my life because I'm not doing wrong things in the street.  Now I can see my English is getting better, I'm doing my school work, being serious on my goals and my future."

We've done lots of great things together.  We've made a lot of great strides and the future is bright. 

And just to let you know another good choice we made...we didn't pick our name to be International Family Interconnection.  That name just hangs on that scrap of paper on my wall, reminding me that not every idea is a good one! 

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