Mentoring

Mr. Roy Williams.

On this world HIV/AIDS awareness day, I recognize the most influential teacher and mentor I've ever had. Mr. Roy Williams was a beautiful soul, kind, loving, fun, thoughtful, encouraging, and supportive, among many outstanding qualities. These are my friends that I came to know well with him, and cherished our special time together in our youth, playing brain games, pushing each other, and relishing this safe space he created for us. I remember being so excited when we all worked together to surprise him on his birthday Happy He wrote me COLLEGE recommendation letters, even though our time officially ended in elementary school; we always stayed connected. He came to my piano recitals, games, and always wrote lovely notes in his memorable penmanship.

Losing him at such a young age spurred my activism and involvement in HIV/AIDS work, and in health care in general- I can only hope to bring a small piece of his beautiful legacy and compassion to my work. He has touched so many people's lives as he did mine. I'm forever grateful for the impact he has had on me and am thinking of him and his family today.
❤️  He is STILL inspiring me, just thinking of him today and seeing his writing, his powerful words which shaped me and gave me confidence I needed and still need- I'm inspired to go do and be more right this second. That is a powerful legacy.

Mr Williams

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the journey.

I am taking part in a program that greatly enriched myself last year, serving as a mentor for black and Latino youth. We chose images that represented where we were at the beginning of our journey, and one for where we are headed. I found this simple exercise to be very powerful and it evoked strong emotions in me, as the mentoring experience has overall, learning more about myself than I could have imagined.

I chose the image of the girl with the suitcase for where I was at the beginning of my journey. Curious, innocent, a deep thirst for travel and adventure, and ready to get on the road and see the world at a very young age. This describes me well-- when I was age 10 I went to England alone to visit family and felt ready to move out on my own after that, empowered and with a strong taste for independence.

The outstretched hands are where I’m going, even though I fight it sometimes with my own self- deprecation (fear of success thread)-- I am a reluctant role model, teacher, healer, even though something tells me that I’m already well down that path and there’s no turning back.

In my secret heart of hearts I want this. I want to be the life force that a few very special people were to me, who have inspired me and saved me beyond belief. I want to “give back” in this way.

At present, I walk the tracks between these two-- the girl with her suitcase, and the wise, soulful woman. I embrace this journey.

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