“Mentor to me means leadership,” Raniah, a high school mentor, said.
Mentoring. Not a word these Brooklyn high school students take lightly.
“Being a mentor to me means being able to guide someone on the right path,” Jacob Fernandez, another mentor, explained.
They all take part in their school’s program giving freshmen someone to look up to.
“She helps me be a better person and not only that, but my grades because she sees potential in me,” Cariana Thompson, a mentee, said. “She just drives me to do better.”
“It’s great because I can finally have someone who is there for me that’s been through it,” Julio Peralta, a mentee, explained.
These teens help each other through life’s challenges.
“He helps me with my goals and stuff and what I’m doing with my future,” Jeremy Fajardo, another mentee, said.
“My grandma she died in November it was hard to cope with it,” Asia, a mentee, remembered. “She told me I can express it by writing it down.”
This week they were joined by the Brooklyn Nets Assist program, part of an NBA Cares initiative.
“Mentoring is very important, only one out of three young people have mentors,” Mia Hall, Booklyn Nets community manager, said. “[Mentoring is important] because they can really give you guidance to get to that next step in life.”
But making the day all the more special…? The Nets’ own Shane Larkin and Wayne Ellington stopped by.
“It’s refreshing, it’s great to see kids who want to do well, kids who want to be positive and who want to be successful in life,” Ellington said.
They shared their own stories and answered questions from the students.
“You can do really whatever you want to do in this life,” Ellington said to the students.
The shooting and point guards understand the importance of having and being a role model.
“For me I would say it’s my father, [Barry Larkin] he was an athlete and it was a blessing,” Larkin explained. “You know not many people can say that about their father and it definitely helped me out ,definitely kept me out of a lot of trouble.”
Larkin and Wellington took the kids to the place where they’ve learned a lot about life, the court, to have a little fun. And at the end of the day, these students and pro athletes were grateful and took away something very valuable.
“Those are players that I look up to everyday and I have the same goal as them,” Terrell Newton, a member of the Brooklyn Prep basketball team, said.
“it’s inspiring because it shows how even if you go through all these hard times, you can still make it when you work hard for everything you want,” Xavier Davenport, another member of the Brooklyn Prep basketball team, added.
“Thank you we appreciate your support and help,” Thomson smiled.
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