Finding a bright future through mentoring
After facing personal challenges in school, Zach turned to O’Huddle, a United Way partner provider, to help him build connections and address behavior struggles through positive adult role models.
Prior to enrolling in the program, 16 year-old Zach would blow up when he witnessed other people being bullied. He also struggled in math and reading.
“I don’t have a normal kid’s background”, Zach openly admits. Although he was adopted at just a few days old by his mother Beverly, Zach acknowledges that his situation is not that unique, as many of his friends are also growing in single-parent households.
Zach became interested in O’Huddle in his search for connections with others. “I came to this program because I longed for a Dad connection in my life. My mom loves me, but she can’t do it all. I wanted to connect with other adults,” Zach said.
Zach began his mentorship with O’Huddle in fifth grade. He started out playing sports with his mentor. The trained mentors eventually worked through Zach’s defenses and helped him cope with the traumatic events he experienced before his adoption. Over the years, through the positive relationships he found in mentoring, Zach learned valuable skills like resolving conflict without physical force.
Since enrolling in O’Huddle, Zach now looks for ways to help others and sees a bright future ahead. “It’s easy for me to help other kids my age or younger because I have had the experience of being helped”, he said. Zach’s strong desire to help extends even further. “I want to be a fire fighter or a police officer,” Zach happily admits.