Mentoring inspires Tony Burruano

It has been a whirlwind!  On May 18th I raised my hand to volunteer at a Hopeworks function and on June 2nd I was at a 3 hour training/orientation at Hopeworks. On June 28th I was introduced to my mentee, Angel.  I had no idea what it would be like. Could I really make a difference?  Would Angel even like me? Although I was nervous, I was sure if I asked questions and LISTENED to answers and was simply interested in Angel, all would be just fine.

My mentee, Angel, is fantastic.  Meeting after meeting I can feel (and when we meet in person) see the difference in his confidence, decision making, and personal accountability.  Angel  had no car to get him from place to place, but had many commitments, including a 30 hour/week  internship and a 40 hour/week Tech Serv position serving as a technical support person in a school for one year.  He executed a plan to be accountable to his Internship and Tech Serv program while being accountable, and on time, for his Hopeworks meetings as well…and to help at home and to take time to care for himself.  Often times I find myself reminded that both of our lives have similar issues of work/life balance.  Today, nearly seven months after raising my hand, I won’t say it is always easy to add one more thing in my life, but Angel inspires me!  I practice what I preach, as example is best.

Care about commitments.  Keep your word.  Communicate with honesty and humility. Everyone will mess up from time to time even when we follow these three rules.  But mistakes aren’t permanent and we all continue to learn and grow.

P.S. My wife has decided to be a mentor too…if accepted!

Interested in mentoring a Hopeworks youth?  Contact Jay Jackson at for information.

(photo caption: Hopeworks mentor breakfast – Tony Burruano second from right)