No Longer Fatherless

It's A Small World After All

non-profit, mentoringSkip SimmonsComment

So many of the stories we see unfold end up having so many “it’s a small world” moments. A woman, Mel, I know from our church sent me a text about a woman and her son back in April 2019. The boy’s father passed away 2 years ago and obviously the family is having a difficult time, who wouldn’t.

After contacting the family and getting schedules worked out, we officially registered Grayson to our waiting list in July. His mother shared with me about Grayson’s autism that can be a challenge for himself, family, and schooling. Before I met them, I assumed Grayson may be shy or timid. Boy was I wrong!

He brought a few Transformers toys to our meeting and once I showed some interest in the subject his mouth did not stop moving. They said he went to Spruce Creek Elementary so I said, “Oh! My mother in-law works there, do you know Mrs. Abadia?” Yep, she is the media center specialist and Grayson is fond of her. It’s a small world.

So I said, “One of our other friends worked there, do you know Mrs. Jones?” Yes, of course they did! That was his teacher last year in 4th grade. It’s a small world.

Grayson was officially on our waiting list but I wasn’t confident he would be matched quickly. Will we find a mentor who is equipped to work with children with autism?

Grayson’s former teacher, Mrs. Jones, has a brother named Michael. Michael’s sister and parents had all moved down to FL over the past several years but he remained in Pittsburgh to finish college. He promised to join the family in FL once he graduated.

Michael has since finished college and fulfilled his promise to join the family down in FL to be close to his parents, sister, and newborn niece.

Michael was on the job hunt in Florida and landed a position as a PE Teacher at…you’re catching on…Spruce Creek Elementary. It’s a small world.

Once Michael joined our mentor training class we quickly agreed that he and Grayson would be a perfect match. Michael has worked with youth in previous Churches, teaching hip-hop dance, and has experience working with children with special needs thru other organizations up north.

Along with teaching Grayson several times per week at school, Mike will also be mentoring Grayson 1 on 1 each week outside of school.

Their first activity together? Bowling. Grayson recently joined a bowling team so they wanted to practice before his first tournament. What happened next?! Grayson came in 1st place in his bowling tournament!!! Way to go!

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