By Billy Langdon ’21
In life, it is important to have role models to look up to. Having someone available whom you admire and can aspire to be like can make a huge difference in your future. I speak from experience, since I have had many role models over the years, each teaching me something new to carry with me for the rest of my life. I now work hard to be that role model through the DREAM program – a mentoring program pairing Saint Michael’s students and area children – helping my mentee Christoph be prepared for life in the future. It makes me think of the chorus of Lean on Me, by Bill Withers.
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on
While being someone Christoph can look up to and lean on is rewarding in itself, I think it would be a shame to forget what else I get out of the relationship. I have learned so much by being a mentor, and know that I will learn much more. I have learned about some of the challenges fora family that sometimes struggles financially, some difficulties faced with being an immigrant, and some differences in cultures. Overall, I have experienced the effects of a positive attitude, as well as how much of a difference a few hours a week can make in someone’s life.
I am extremely grateful for the DREAM program at Saint Michael’s College and cannot imagine my life here without it. I look forward to Wednesday nights, meeting and planning with the other mentors, and then I always enjoy spending time with the children for a few hours doing new and exciting activities on Friday afternoon. I know that I am making a difference in the life of a child, and I know that he is making just as much of a difference in my life.