Thoughts from a DCFYI Mentee

Hello all. My name is Cierra. First I'd like to say thank you on behalf of the mentees of DCFYI all for your interests in becoming a mentor, or supporting a foster care youth. Today I am going to share my story of my mentor and I and also give some tips.
Here are the top 5 things that a volunteer with DCFYI should know:
  1. Being in Foster Care has some good days and some bad days. A mentor should be a support system when you're doing bad or good.
  2. Some youth come with prior traumas so if they're a little slow in trusting give them time & never make promises that you can't keep.
  3. All youth need love, but some don't know what a genuine love is or how to accept it. As a mentor you may be the one relationship with your mentee that can show them that there is good in the world. Try to work hard showing the youth that the world and life has much to offer.
  4. Asking questions about our past or current lifestyles are okay, but please do not prod your mentee; it's best if they reveal things organically.
  5. We mentees at DCFYI thank all the mentors, and volunteers, and host homes. Without the interest of you guys we may never have a forever lifelong connection.
What makes a good mentor?
Someone is consistent, available, reliable & fun.
Why a teen might still want to be adopted?
Some youth look forward to the day that they find a family to call their own. Being adopted means finally being chosen to belong for some & they can wait for however long to attain that.
What not to say to a teen in care.
Here are some examples of phrases you should NOT say:
  1. Being in foster care must be terrible
  2. Why weren't you adopted?
  3. Where are your real parents?
What have I gotten by being with my mentor?
My mentor has been an angel in disguise for me. When David came into my life, I had lost some of my ambition and spark being caught up in the problems of life. He brought the color back into my life by showing me what a healthy relationship should look and feel like. He challenged me with optimism & opened my mind to the endless possibilities. DCFYI gave me a gift that I can have for a lifetime.

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