For Dustin and Cynthia Elliott of Hershey, mentoring isn’t just a hobby or a way to give back to the community — it’s a part of their family.
More than 100 TeamMates matches are in Hershey, a town of less than 700 people. Dustin and Cynthia are featured this month in the regional newsletter for Teammates.
January is National Mentoring Month.
Dusty and Cynthia each have a mentee, and their children — a pair of 10-year-old twins — have mentors as well, the article in teammates.org says.
“It gives us the opportunity for our kids to see mom and dad working and interacting with other kids,” Cynthia told the writer. “By being a role model, I’m showing my own kids that it is important to care about others besides yourself.”
Cynthia is a teacher at Hershey schools. She joined TeamMates during the 2015-16 school year. She and her mentee meet each week for lunch to chat about what’s going on in each other’s lives. It’s very laid back and she said they both seem to enjoy it.
“I understand the need for mentoring,” she said. “To have another adult guiding tomorrow’s youth is vital.”
Not only has the experience with her mentee been a positive one, but she’s seeing a positive impact in her kids as well. The Elliott’s son and daughter are matched with another husband and wife.
“It is something they truly look forward to,” Cynthia said.
Dustin, a former professional bull rider, first started his TeamMates journey in North Platte four years ago. He switched to the Hershey chapter about a year ago, the article says.
“I enjoy youth and want to do my part to help people, no matter the age or the situation,” he explained. “TeamMates is a well-known mentoring program that I feel truly has the mentorship in mind as a school-based organization.”