~ Written by Meredith Watters, MLA
Five years ago, newlyweds Brenda Fike and husband Scott Spector moved here to take over running her father-in-law’s Bay Imprint business in Easton. Not knowing many people at that time, Fike looked to become involved with something that suited her work schedule. When Talbot Mentor’s (TM) board member, Merrilie Ford walked into the store to order a TM banner, Brenda learned about this small organization, similar to Big Brother/Big Sister, that existed in her community.
Recalling her own childhood, Brenda knew it ‘takes a village’ to raise a child and she recognized that this is where she could immerse her sense of community responsibility and compassion. As a former teacher and camp counselor, Brenda was well-aware that some children could benefit from a little extra time with an adult and was drawn to the one-on-one relationship she could develop.
Brenda found the comfort and confidence she needed to make the commitment to a child “knowing the support Talbot Mentors provides, the initial training I received, and the TM sponsored events and activities offered.” She also felt the commitment of a couple of hours a week was flexible for her work schedule. “Going to local parks, watching Pixar films, TM sponsored events such as bowling, and other youthful activities makes me more connected to kids these days. I’ve also made new friendships through Talbot Mentors and my mentee’s extended family network.” To Brenda, “this mentorship gives me (good) distractions from the current National events and it’s a motivator to get me out of the office once a week.”
Brenda teared up remembering when her eight-year-old mentee told her: “When I’m having a bad day at school I pretend you’re there with me and I think about the fun things we’ll do together when I see you.” Her mentee suggested her favorite things to do together are: “going to the parks, playing tennis, making brownies, eating at Subway, and helping me with homework.” Recently Talbot Mentors organized horseback riding for them and they LOVED it. When asked her favorite thing about Brenda, she said with a warm, loving smile “the sparkles in her eyes and her smile. Oh, and her dog.”
Brenda has enjoyed the past two years watching her mentee’s growth and developing maturity. Reflecting on her experience thus far, Brenda says, “I thought being a Mentor would be all about me giving…but, it’s not one-sided. I’ve enjoyed finding friendship.”
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, Talbot Mentors needs you. You can help in many ways:
- Become a mentor to a child who would really benefit from a positive role model.
- Donate and help achieve the goal of offering every mentee a camp experience.
- Volunteer to teach the children your special talent or hobby.
To learn about Talbot Mentors, please attend our next monthly Information Session on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at 4:30pm. Info sessions take place at the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Building located at 114 S Washington Street in Easton. You can also visit the website and apply to become a mentor at http://talbotmentors.org/apply or call 410-770-5999.