Zarinah Darby, 2016 Mentor

Becoming a mentor to youth was always something I wanted to do. I strive to be the positive role model I wish I could have had as a child. I became a mentor because of my passion with working with kids. When I became a mentor I knew that I would be able to relate to what many of the children in the program face every day. My favorite part about being a mentor is that you can see the confidence and strength growing within each child each week in returning. As a mentor seeing that light glowing within each child’s eyes could uplift anyone’s day it especially did mine.
Here is a Quote I love:
“Children will not remember you for the material things you provided, but for the feeling that you cherished them.” Richard L. Evans

Zarinah Darby, 2016 Mentor.

Jose Magana, Spring 2016 Program Leader/Mentor

I started off as a volunteer for Future for KIDS in the 2015 fall semester. I was introduced to the program by Nicole Pepper when she came to recruit at Phoenix College. This would be the third program I volunteered for but none are like Future for Kids. Their encouragement and positive attitude makes me want to go the extra mile for the kids in our program. I learned to care and mentor my sixth grade group.

I always like to start the program with the sixth grader a little differently than the other students just because they are the older group. I would first ask them about their weekend or about something specific they have told me in the past. For example, I know Stephanie always has a soccer tournament every weekend. Therefore, I always ask Stephanie about how her team did that previous weekend. I do this because every week we have an ethical topic we have to talk about, and I find something to tie from what they told me. This helps better their understanding about ethical issues.

I always remind my group that they are the oldest group. Therefore, they have a responsibility to act right and if someone in the group or in the program is acting up they should remind them to be respectful. Every Tuesday right before they leave I like to do a recap of the day and how that day was a positive day because they learned something new. I have close relationships with my students and they look up to me because I share my 6th grade experiences with them.

I admire this non-profit organization because the program was built for the children who are in need of some type of mentoring. I feel that it is important to give back to the community in any way possible, but especially when you give back to the youth.
Jose Magana, Spring 2016 Program Leader/Mentor.

Marissa Caulton, Spring 2016 Mentor

Feature Friday Interview:
How long has she been with FFK: I just started in the fall semester of 2015
Education: I’m currently a Junior at Pinnacle High School
Site: North Tempe

Why Future for KIDS? – I have always had a love for kids and growing up, I always spent time with the younger kids in my neighborhood and at my schools. Kids bring me so much joy and helping them in any way I can is something I’m passionate about doing.

What makes your time mentoring worth it? – Mentoring is so worth it to me because I’ve learned SO much from the kids at my site. I look forward to Wednesday’s, just because I get to see them. No matter what is going on, they will always break a smile when they see us in the afternoon.

What has been your favorite moment at North Tempe? – My favorite moment was learning all of the kids names. I promised one of the first graders, Donovan, that I would memorize each kids name. It took a while and I messed up sometimes, but when I finally got everyone down, it felt so good. I knew each kid and what they looked like. It was quite adorable seeing the surprised look on Donovan’s face when he saw me say every kids name.

Please, tell me a story about how mentoring relates to where you have been/where you see yourself in the future? – Mentoring relates to my entire life. My biggest passion in life is kids, no matter what I’m doing, if kids are involved, I’m beyond happy. I grew up in a neighborhood across the street from my elementary school, and kids seemed to always be around me. Teaching them, helping them, and supporting them whenever it was necessary. I will continue my passion in the future by deciding to be a Registered Nurse, specializing in Pediatrics. I absolutely adore being around the little ones and there’s nothing like the ear to ear smile they give when they are happy.

What is the first thing you think of when you hear “Future for KIDS”? – I think of the people involved. From the kids at the sites to the administration in the office. All the time, effort, and love that goes into this program. Future for KIDS has the most caring people involved and it means the world to me that I get to be a part of it.

Extras: My mentor lead for the first semester, Justin, is probably the most driven person I’ve ever met. He handled every situation so well and no matter what he kept a smile on his face. It was so much fun getting to know him and having him to look up to and go to for help.

My mentor lead now, Monique, is also such a driven person. She’s so focused and caring to the individual needs of the mentors and the kids. She makes each week so enjoyable and I’m so grateful to have her.

My experience at Future for KIDS has been absolutely incredible and I’m so thankful every day for the opportunity I was given. My relationship with the kids, and the friendships I’ve gained with other mentors is absolutely unforgettable. Each week I find something knew about the program and I grow to love it more and more.

Marissa Caulton, Spring 2016 Mentor.

Zoe Qu, Fall 2014 Mentor

I started as a volunteer at FFK since August 2014, soon after that, I became an FFK intern from January to December 2015. It was a great experience to meet all the wonderful youth, and spent one and half years with them at FFK.

I enjoyed going to two DYF sites every Monday and Wednesday. It became a part of my life to show up twice a week at sites. Everything was so natural because I enjoyed every second I spent in FFK.

Being a mentor is not just a responsibility – it is also a great learning opportunity. I have learned so much from the kids I’ve mentored, and other mentors I’ve worked with. Without the kids, I would never know how much an impact I could have on others; how important it is to behave right to be someone’s role model. It helped me discipline myself harder to be qualified as a mentor to all those wonderful kids.

Working with other mentors helped me learn to be a more professional mentor. It was a great time mentoring with them at FFK.

Zoe Qu, Fall 2014 Mentor

Vivian Yu, Spring 2016 Mentor

“The kids are so energetic every week and are all so unique and different. I’m opening up more and more to them each week, and they’re doing the same. This program is an awesome experience! Thank you!”

Vivian Yu, Spring 2016 Mentor

Jana Jones Lally, 2015 Summer Camp Chaperone

I wanted to Thank you and the entire group of volunteers that were a part of the sports day on Saturday May 30th. It was truly a phenomenal experience. Everyone was incredibly kind and helpful. I was a chaperone for the group of kids from Phoenix Children’s Project, and this was my first experience with Future for Kids. The smiles and laughter that went on all day was pure joy. It was incredible to watch all those kids end the day with more energy than when they started. The 7 kids that I brought could not have had anymore fun and they wanted to share with their friends and family what they did and learned. I felt very comfortable knowing all the kids where looked after by the incredible group of volunteers that poured their heart and sole into the kids.I look forward to next year. Many thanks.
Jana Jones Lally, Camp Chaperone

Tanner Emeterio, Fall 2014 Field Intern

Day in the Life: FFK Tanner EmeterioA typical day of my internship begins with locking up my bike outside the Boys and Girls Club, and walking in to our designated room to prepare for the day. When the clock hits 4pm, the kids begin to file in one at a time, each with their own signature style of entrance. Some kids come in yelling and screaming with excitement, while others calmly walk in after a long day at school. I can’t help but to smile when I see the fifth graders walk in, as I’ve grown a connection with them through mentoring them throughout the fall semester. As a 20 year old college student at ASU consumed with homework and exams, I have to say it’s really refreshing to sit down and just talk to the kids. I usually ask the kids what they did at school that day, and from there we talk about anything from what they had for lunch to what is happening in their favorite TV shows.

Once everyone is settled in, we move into the ethics session, where we read a short story and reflect on various ethics topics, like acceptance and gratitude. From there, we move into homework time, where I make myself accessible to the kids in case they need help on their assignments. When I first started interning for Future For Kids, I thought the kids would need my help a lot with their homework, but I was shocked with how assertive and competent they are in their work. It amazes me each and every time how motivated and passionate these kids are when it comes to school. Following homework time, we read in groups for a bit, then head to the gym for the sport of the day. I always enjoy the time in the gym because the kids become so energetic and the atmosphere is full of fun. After our time in the gym, we head back to the classroom to prepare a snack for the kids and wrap things up. We say goodbye to the kids, clean up, and recap the day with our program leads. That’s a day in the life of a field intern for Future For Kids!
Tanner Emeterio, Fall 2014 Field Intern.

Danielle Gilmore, Fall 2014 Intern

I’ve never felt connected or valued as a volunteer until I started serving with Future for KIDS. They do an amazing job of making you part of the team and connecting you to the resources you need. Each of the women that run it remember your name and information and do all that they can to help you  succeed both with the organization and in your own life. They truly exemplify what it means to be a professional in the field. They’re able to combine that professionalism with their passion to help kids and young adults into an unstoppable powerhouse of action. They love what they do and it makes you want to do the best that you can to help them in their mission. Truly an amazing organization. Danielle Gilmore, Fall 2014.

Michelle deVillenfagne, Fall 2014 Intern

Future for KIDS is an amazing organization! As a current mentor and intern, I am learning so much every day I spend in the office and out in the field. The other volunteer mentors I have worked with are great people and are so dedicated to the organization. The youth participants show up every week with smiles from ear-to-ear… A true testament to how amazing Future for KIDS is! Michelle deVillenfagne, Fall 2014.

Halie Blauser, Spring 2014 Intern

I absolutely love Future for KIDS.  I have volunteered for them in every area, from the office to out in the field. It is run by the most hardworking and dedicated women I have ever met and their passion is evident from the moment you step through the door.  If you are looking for an organization that educates and inspires children then you have found it.  Future for KIDS is so unique in that it focuses on improving each child’s skills in not only academics but in their ethical reasoning and in their athletic abilities as well.Halie Blauser, Spring 2014.

Tiara Cash, Spring 2013 Intern

My first encounter with FFK was with a volunteer group for homeless children and their families. This group was invited to the FFK summer camp in 2012, and I was a chaperone. From the first time we stepped on the field at ASU, there was nothing but excitement and fun. Each station was filled with sport equipment, volunteers, and even professional and collegiate athletes. The children had an awesome time and I knew on that day that I wanted to be apart of this organization. I was able to speak with Madonna at the camp, and not even 2 months later, I was beginning as a mentor at one of the FFK sites. The program that semester was phenomenal and touched all three of the core values so perfectly. Academics, Athletics, and Ethics were daily topics and I was able to be involved by using these values to create fun and new experiences for the kids. Because of the impact that the kids and the staff had on me that fall, I applied to be an intern for my last semester of my undergraduate career in the spring of 2013. I was able to further touch each child that I worked with before and give the new ones at different sites tools become successful, educated, and fit individuals. I had the privilege to see children become empowered by the services that FFK provides and will serve with them as long as I am able to.Tiara Cash, Spring 2013.

Margaux Peterson, Spring 2013 Intern

The Future for KIDS “Discover your Future” mentorship program ended up being the most rewarding experience I have ever had because you can plainly see the impact you are making on someone’s life.Margaux Peterson, Spring 2014.

Julia, Spring 2013 Mentor

When I signed up to volunteer with Future for KIDS, I didn’t expect to love it as much as I do.  The time I get to spend with the kids is one of my favorite times of the week. It’s so refreshing to be surrounded by all of those eager eyes and bright smiles. I truly believe that I benefit/learn from them just as much as they do from me. Future for KIDS is definitely something I plan to stay involved with in the future.

Frank, Spring 2013 Mentor

It is my pleasure to serve as a mentor.  Every week it is exciting to see the kids have so much fun and learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Tom, Fall 2012 Mentor

After a long winter break, I was excited to get back to Children’s First Academy in Tempe to see my kids again.  There were some new faces in the crowd, but I was hopeful that some of the kids would remember me.  As Regina and Tee began introducing the mentors, I anxiously awaited my turn.  To my surprise, when my name was called, it sounded like a hundred kids were screaming for joy!  I was so happy and humbled that in just a few short months over the Fall semester, I was able to gain the trust and confidence of so many participants.  Each Monday at CFA Tempe, I look forward to sharing stories from the weekend, encouraging words, advice, and the occasional riddle with the “regulars” at Mr. Tom’s table.  FFK has been an extremely rewarding experience for me, and I feel blessed to be invited to participate in the program.  I look forward to my future participation!

Jennifer Huntley, Fall 2012 Intern

My great experience with Future for Kids started from an internship program back in 2012. My heart and drive has always been inspired to give, help and reach out. Future for Kids had opened that door to allow me to accomplish what my heart desired all along. As an intern I had the pleasure to work with an amazing group of staff, in several after school programs in different pockets of the community, and assist with numerous fundraising events. The opportunity to be a part of this non-profit organization is a rewarding experience and my service to give back is well cherished.– Jennifer Huntley, Fall 2012

Sasha Goldkorn, Fall 2012 Intern

Being a part of the Future for KIDS team during the Fall 2012 semester has truly been an incredible experience for me.  It was great to be able to talk with the kids at the program sites and learn about their lives, share stories, and see their progression from the first week to the last.  The time I have spent with Future for Kids has been an immeasurable value to my life. I was able to work with amazing kids that taught me about myself, gain a first-hand look into the daily functions of a successful nonprofit, and learn more about myself than I expected. I now have a new sense of confidence when moving forward in my education and career and am incredibly thankful for the opportunities that Future for Kids has given me.
-Sasha Goldkorn, Fall 2012
Nick, Spring 2012 Mentor

Volunteering for Future for Kids helped me as much as it helped the children your program seeks to aid.  As someone who had never really experienced being in a leadership role throughout high school it was empowering and encouraging to be such a huge influence on the kids. Being the younger guy volunteer I was the most active in our athletic activities and loved how all the little kids revered me as their leader. I’m a lot more confident in my own abilities now (lost 50 pounds over the summer, taken more school leadership positions, etc.) and I accredit a lot of that to the months leading up to summer vacation. I might ask to volunteer with you guys again this summer just because it was such a fun experience for me.
Jennifer Crouse, Spring 2011 Intern

Future for KIDS is an amazing non-profit. I was lucky enough to be a mentor and intern in the Spring of 2011. As an intern I have learned so much about how non-profits operate and I have also been a part of the planning of the 2011 Sports Camp! Reaching out to future partners and getting the community involved has been very fulfilling. I think it is amazing that so many sponsors support this organization and make it possible to host a FREE sports camp for at-risk youth.  As a mentor to the children Future for KIDS serves, I have been blessed to get know the kids we work to support. At the Discover your Future program that I mentor at on Tuesdays I have formed relationships with the kids and have such a good time interacting with them, teaching them about health and fitness and encouraging them to always do their best and be the best person they can be.  Future for KIDS does it all right. I am so lucky to help serve the mission! – Jennifer Crouse, Spring 2011

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