Since 1997, Talbot Mentors (TM) has matched caring adults with Talbot County youth between the ages of 6 and 18, who are often referred by school guidance counselors. Being a mentor means being a reliable and trusted part of a young person’s life, being a good listener as well as a good guide. A mentor plans with his or her mentee to have frequent activities that build the relationship and are fun for both.
Lenny Gold has been involved with Talbot Mentors since its beginning. “I remember seeing an ad in the paper for mentors. I interviewed with Phil Kirby, the organization’s founder, in his living room.”
Over the years, Lenny has had three mentees. They are now grown men and continue to share a special bond with Lenny. “It certainly wasn’t easy. My first mentee had a rough life, beginning at a young age. He lacked direction and was often getting into trouble. But through it all, I was there for him.”
Where is he today? Lenny shared that he’s 33 and is doing well. He works as an electrical contractor and is soon to be married with a young daughter. “I quickly learned that my role as mentor wasn’t to be some savior and ‘fix him,’ but rather be present and show up during the good and bad times.” Lenny is proud they continue to remain in one another’s lives.
“My second mentee has a single mom who did a terrific job to keep him on the right track. He was a good kid but didn’t have a consistent male adult in his life. He’s now 26, working as an operator at a wastewater treatment plant. As a water systems engineer myself, I shared with him about opportunities in the field and am now helping him with his certification. We talk regularly.”
Lenny maintains a strong ongoing relationship with his third mentee as well. “As a mentor, you may question whether you’re really having an impact. What I’ve learned through this process is just how important it is to have someone in your life you can count on, who keeps their promises. It was important to not judge or pepper my mentees with too many questions. I do believe this helped gain their trust.”
“You become extended family when you’re a mentor, and I consider myself fortunate this continues today. I feel a sense of satisfaction in thinking I may have played some small part in helping a young person navigate the issues they face as they grow and mature into adulthood. I also think it’s important to try and help others outside of your family when you can, and not be so wrapped up in your own issues. I know it’s cliché but helping others does make a meaningful difference, even if it’s one person at a time.”
Lenny currently volunteers as a math tutor with the Scholars program. It has been a great opportunity for him to remain engaged, and help our youth grow and develop their academic skills.
To learn more about how you can get involved with Talbot Mentors, visit talbotmentors.org.