Confirmation students learn not only from the pastors and youth directors at Trinity but also from an adult mentor. What happens in the mentor program, and why should YOU consider being a mentor in the future? Three mentors from Trinity weighed in on this ministry: Kathy Dobrzynski, Tom Kirby, and Liz Fitzgerald. 

Kathy Dobrzynski (and mentee, Jaxon)

Why be a mentor? “I have known the Dutcher family for many years since Jaxon’s grandparents live across the street from me. I have been watching Jaxon grow up into a fine young man!” She explained it was her first time being a mentor. “Some of it is what I expected, but there were more surprises. I found out we need to give our youth more credit for what they know, and they do enjoy servant projects!”

 The servant project that she and Jaxon did involved collecting school supplies to donate to Jefferson and Harding Elementary Schools. Dobrzynski said, “I had posted on our Eastbrooke Facebook page, and on a certain day, Jaxon and I drove around Eastbrooke picking up the supplies. Then we took it back to my house and divided it into two groups and took the donations to the schools, where the staff thanked us for our contribution. With the initial response to my posting, I had thought more people would donate. We still collected 274 items! That is still a lot to be thankful for! Jaxon and I are talking about doing this again in the fall. Jaxon loves to do service work!” 

 She continued, “Jaxon surprised me on how much he knows about the Bible! I don’t think we give the young people the credit they deserve! I will continue to watch Jaxon mature, and I am anxious to see what he does with his life!”

Thinking about being a mentor? Dobrzynski offers her advice: “God comes to us in many different forms, so we need to keep alert! You never know when God will put someone in your path to help you on your journey. Show kindness and thank God frequently! Go into the mentor program with an open heart and mind! You would be surprised at what you will learn from your student, and hopefully, they will learn from you also!”

Dobrzynski stressed the importance of a mentor sharing the rough parts of life with their mentee: “We all know that things don’t always go perfectly!” She said, “I shared with Jaxon that I wandered away from the church when I graduated from high school. A lady who became a very good friend took me under her wings and encouraged me to come to church with her.” Another “defining moment” in Dobrzynski’s faith was also shared with Jaxon. She explained, “After the birth of my twins, I became very sick and was in the ICU. I was not expected to live. With the power of prayer through the church, I recovered and am here today to watch my kids grow up!”

“Having a mentor has helped me by knowing to do the right thing in a bad situation! My advice for future confirmation students is getting your things done early.”  – Jaxon

Tom Kirby (and mentee, Henry)

Why be a mentor? “I chose to become a mentor for Henry because I believe that fostering a strong faith in our adolescents is vital to the growth of our faith community as a whole. This period of life is all about changes, and having a strong faith helps immensely with some of those tougher times.” Kirby continued, “The process went very much as I expected. The experiences and discussions during this timeframe were enlightening and helped build a stronger relationship between Henry and me.”

 The service project that Kirby and Henry chose was volunteering at the Humane Society. Kirby said, “I had never been to the Humane Society before, and this experience led Henry and me to volunteer to walk dogs at the shelter this past summer. It is always a great feeling to give back!”

Kirby hopes for several “takeaways” for Henry through this mentoring process. “I hope that Henry remembers that no matter where you are when you start your faith journey, there is always room for growth. I also hope that he can look to me for any needs moving forward as well. I will remember Henry’s quick wit and humor that makes some of the deeper discussions a little easier to handle along the way.”

Thinking about being a mentor? Kirby advises to “meet your mentee wherever they are and keep an open mind! Everyone is different and has had a different upbringing when it comes to faith. Join them in their faith journey wherever that may be and then work with them to make their faith stronger.”

“Tom helped me with my faith journey because he told me about his faith life, and that helped me have a stronger faith with God. I recommend going to the Humane Society with your mentor. It’s really fun.” – Henry

Liz Fitzgerald (and mentee, Abby)

Why be a mentor? Fitzgerald summed it up perfectly: “I decided to be a mentor because I learn so much from the students at Trinity.” She added, “It can be challenging to coordinate schedules and find time to meet. The time we spent together went so fast!” 

A favorite moment was tough to define “because the experience is so rewarding!” Fitzgerald said. “I appreciate the relationship building that happens during mentoring most of all.”

Among other things, Fitzgerald includes this hope for her mentee, Abby: “I hope Abby remembers that she is part of an amazing community of faith, and there are so many people that care about her, pray for her, and wish her the best.” What will Fitzgerald remember most about this process? “I will remember Abby’s spunky personality and her inspiring dedication!”

Thinking about being a mentor? Fitzgerald’s advice is this: “I would share that having an open mind and letting the student lead are amazing opportunities for you both to learn so much while affirming your faith together.”

“I would say that my favorite part about having a mentor was that I got to see a different point of view than my own. Some advice I would give future Confirmation students is that you should choose someone that you don’t fully know so that you can get to know them better through God.” 

 – Abby

Thank you, Kathy, Tom, and Liz, for playing a special role in the faith journeys of three Confirmation students.