My name is Trevor, and I’ve been a volunteer mentor with First Exposures for seven years. I’ve been paired with four mentees so far and have learned so much from each one. As a mentor, I’m not a parent, not a teacher, not a friend—but I get to call upon aspects of each of these roles while building a relationship of trust with the young people I’m privileged to work with. It’s such a rewarding position to be in, and it wouldn’t be possible without supporters like you.
Mentoring with First Exposures has benefited me in other areas of my life too, which is not something I ever expected. As someone with a great deal of volunteer experience, I know firsthand how First Exposures is unique among mentoring programs. The things I’ve learned in my training apply to much more than just mentoring. It’s improved how I work, how I see other people, and even how I approach my other volunteer positions. Getting to know and learn about the different personalities and the various backgrounds of the young people I’ve worked with has helped me by expanding my empathy and understanding and encouraged me to open up more myself.
One of the things I value most about being a mentor with First Exposures is that I’m able to show young people they can be who they want to be and express themselves how they want to. We give them strength, empower them to build their confidence, and to develop their understanding of our complex world. I love how sometimes at a photo share I’ll notice a mentee, who never used to speak a word, is now leading the conversation!
This holiday season, I hope you’ll consider making the most generous gift you can to support First Exposures. The Charles A. Becker Foundation is matching contributions from donors to benefit the work of First Exposures in our new home. The Foundation, with a long legacy of funding projects that impact young people, has proudly supported First Exposures’ work for more than five years. When you make a gift before December 31, 2021, the Charles A. Becker Foundation will double the impact with a generous dollar-for-dollar match, up to $20,000, which makes up 5% of our annual budget.
We have so much to look forward to in the year ahead, including moving into our new forever home in San Francisco’s Mission District in the spring of 2022. I can’t wait to see how our young artists will grow and flourish in this environment.
Your meaningful support makes it possible for mentors like me to participate in this incredible program. Thank you for being a part of the First Exposures family!
Wishing you a happy holiday season,
First Exposures mentor