Meet Our Mentors: Timothy Carr

This week, we talk to Timothy Carr about his experience mentoring. Timothy is in his second year of mentoring Lawrenz, a senior at Chicago Military Academy at Bronzeville in Chicago. He shares what it’s been like to start mentoring during the pandemic and how he’s helping prepare his mentee for life after high school.

What inspired you to volunteer?

I’ve always been the type of person that likes to help, so volunteering is second nature for me. I look at this as helping to build for the future, because when I’m old and grey, these young folks will be the ones making the decisions not only for me, but for our society.

Tell me about your mentee.

Lawrenz is a creative young man who wants to contribute to the world. He likes music and wants to start a clothing line. He’s been very honest with me and we share real life stories with one another and I think that strengthens our relationship.

What is your relationship like, and how has it developed over time?

The fact that I started with the program during COVID19 and everything was virtual was kind of odd. I thought it would be a struggle trying to establish a mentor/mentee relationship with a high school student I’ve never met before. But I give a lot of credit to Lawrenz—he wanted to know as much about me as I wanted to know about him. When I shared some of the things I was doing in my life, he genuinely took interest and wanted to know more.

How have you supported your mentee in planning for life after high school?

I remind Lawrenz that life after high school is very different and the real world is not fair. I try my best to set him up for success by giving him real life homework assignments such as having him establish a bank account and helping him explore the pros and cons of different career options.

What have you gained from volunteering as a mentor?

It’s definitely given me a different outlook on the future of our youth. Plainly put, “You get out what you put in,” and it’s refreshing to see that we have some youth that want to make a difference. It’s up to us to give them the tools to succeed and be there when they need help. Lawrenz has also helped me by keeping me in the know on some things that I normally would not know about!