Mentor Spotlight!

January 2023

Marli Bennett, Mentor, relationship

Marli Bennett!

What are some of your duties as a CIS mentor?

My role is primarily to provide a safe environment for my mentees to express themselves fully. I want to provide them with opportunities to explore new things, ask questions and share their dreams and goals with me. I strive to make them aware of new possibilities by exposing them to activities/events that they might not otherwise experience. I seek to expand their worldview; help build self-esteem and self-confidence. In building our relationship, I prioritized finding commonalities so that my mentees now feel they can identify with me; this in turn makes them more comfortable opening up. I make a point to show genuine interest in my mentees and what they have to say. Lastly, I strive to be an active advocate and simply put, be ever-present. My goal is to make a positive difference in my mentees’ lives.

Marli Bennett, Mentor, relationship

Why did you want to mentor with CIS?

I was raised by a family of servant leaders and taught to be of service to others; to be present for those that I share community with. It is my belief that I am called to serve. I desire to pay it forward and give back to my community. So many poured into me as a youth, I would be doing them a disservice if I did not share with the next generations. I always want to give of myself in a way that inspires and uplifts; to serve as a seed of hope.

Marli Bennett, Mentor, relationship

How do you think your mentee has benefitted?

My mentees feel secure knowing that there is another caring adult in their lives, an addition to their support team. They have someone in me that is genuinely interested in them, their thoughts, their feelings, and what they have to say. I strive to provide learning opportunities and balance it out with fun; simply allowing them to be kids. This program has expanded their mindset and exposed them to new ways of approaching their day-to-day lives and the larger world. My mentees have the freedom to share with me fully and freely in a non-judgmental environment and because of that, they can be themselves, fully.

Marli Bennett, Mentor, relationship

What have been the biggest benefits of the relationship for you and your family?

This experience with AAMI has been a life and purpose- affirming experience. My mentees have grown my family as I consider them to be an extension of our family. This program has expanded our reach into the community and given us kids to love, support and pour into. I learn something new each day I spend with my mentees; they are teaching and growing me as well. We are so grateful that these families have entrusted us with their kids to mentor.

What are some of your goals?

My goal is to build meaningful, life-long bonds with my mentees. I want them to know that I will always be present in their lives if they so desire. I aspire to help them reach their full potential, nurturing what is already inside of them. I hope that I can help them hone their gifts which will guide them to their destiny. I strive to instill a strong sense of belief in themselves and their dreams, building confidence in their abilities. In partnering with their support system, I strive to play a role in their growth and development into leaders and aid in broadening their horizons. I want them to be inspired, believing that they can do anything, be anything. I hope they see the possibilities that already lie within them. Lastly, I hope to serve as a vessel of hope, possibility, and unconditional love. I want them to know that I believe in them and am one of their biggest cheerleaders!

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