Building Relationship

Deniesha King, a 6th grader at the Hopkins Center met her mentor, Grace, through the Little Lights Mentoring Program. Over the past year, Deniesha and Grace’s mentor-mentee relationship has blossomed over time spent on trips to the circus and Sunday morning church services. Over Deniesha’s spring break, the two journeyed to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey Circus, where Deneisha was captivated by the waltzing, acrobatic gymnasts who performed during the trampoline act.

Thriving Academically

But, beyond the fun social outings, Deniesha enjoys meeting with Grace every Tuesday for Reading Heroes the most.

Reading Heroes matches tutors with students to work together to complete lesson plans specifically designed for each student’s level. “She helps me comprehend what I’m reading so that I can get good grades in school,” Deniesha said.

Every time a book is in her hands or she is asked to read aloud in school, Deniesha finds herself applying the reading tips and advice Grace has given her during their one-to-one tutoring sessions. “She [Grace] tells me ‘You have to read for understanding. Stop at periods to catch a breather and to avoid run-along sentences. The periods are there so you don’t squish sentences together.’ Honor roll student Deniesha realizes the importance of having a mentor. “I thinks it’s important to have a mentor so that I can be successful in life.”

Why Mentoring Matters

Deniesha is inspired by Grace to become a mentor, too. In the future Deniesha is confident she’ll have the opportunity to “help other young kids who need a mentor by tutoring them and taking them on outings.”

Little Lights Mentoring Program has planted the desire in Deniesha’s heart to be for other young kids what Grace has been to her.