Empowering Youth Through Education

An Interview with Mentor Susan Bloch Kay

The Fulfillment Fund staff hears so often from our mentors that they originally signed up to help a young person but they soon find that the personal benefits are more than they ever imagined! We interviwed Susan Bloch Kay to learn more about how becoming a mentor has changed her life. 

The Fulfillment Fund staff hears so often from our mentors that they originally signed up to help a young person but they soon find that the personal benefits are more than they ever imagined! We interviwed Susan Bloch Kay to learn more about how becoming a mentor has changed her life. 

 

Q: Describe mentoring in one word.

It's hard to put into one word, but if I could have two words I would say "meaningful friend." If I had to put it into one word I would say "guidance."

 

Q: Out of all the things you could be doing with your time, how did you make the decision to mentor with the Fulfillment Fund?

I went to an information session about the Fulfillment Fund and was planning to support the organization once or twice a year through volunteer work. However, after listening to two Fulfillment Fund mentor/mentee pairs speak about their mentorship relationship and the effect of that relationship on their lives and career, I signed up to become a mentor the next day!

 

Q: What do you admire most about your mentee?

I would say that what I admore most about my mentee is her determineation and positive attitude about her dream of attending a four year college. 

 

Q: Describe your most memorable outing with your mentee. Why was this day so special?

It is very difficult to select my most memorable outing but I would say it would be a tie. First, I took my mentee to the beach and Santa Monica and Venice early in our relationship and this was only her second time ever being at the beach after living her entire life in Los Angeles! I think this opened my eyes to all the Los Angeles experiences I would be able to share with my mentee. 

A tie for first place would be one of our recent outings. I took my student to see the play "Zoot Suit" at the Mark Taper Forum Theatre. The play highlighted the story of racial bias against Mexican Americans in 1942 and the impact that bias had on the lives of young Mexican Americans in L.A. 75 years ago. The play used music and dance to highlight the imporance of friendship, family and significant others in lives of young Mexican Americans. My mentee and I loved the play and learned so much while enjoying wonderful music and theatre! After the play we went to one of the oldest Mexican restaurants in L.A. and enjoyed delicious authentic Mexican food. We have made a point of trying foods from as many countries as we can in and around L.A. but this was our first time eating true Mexican food together, and my mentee was able to teach me about many foods I had never tasted before!

 

Q: How has your mentoring relationship with your student impacted your life for the better?

My mentoring relationship has impacted my life for the better in innumerous ways; I have had so many fulfilling, wonderful outings with my mentee. It has been a fun and growing experience for me. I have been able to pass on my knowledge and life skills to a young person in L.A. who I would never have met without this program. I think the mentorship program is a win-win for both the mentor and the mentee. I have had fun exploring fun and interesting places in and around L.A. while at the same time impacting the life of a young person. My greatest joy was hearing about my mentee's college acceptances this month! I felt as proud as her as I felt for my own three children. I look forward to continuing to guide her as she takes the leap from high school to college this year!

 

Q: As a senior, how do you think your age has played a role in your mentorship?

I have always lived my life by the motto "You are as young as you feel" and the mentorship proram has allowed me to do more activities that are fun and interesting for my mentee that I might not have experienced without the mentorship program! As a senior, I have more time on the weekends since I no longer have to be with my children as much as I did when they were living at home and growing up. I have tried foods from over forty different countries in and around L.A. and have been to almost every museum and major destination in the L.A. area, many of which I would never have visited if I was not with my mentee. One outing that comes to mind is a tour of the main branch of the L.A. Public Library which was a free tour and incredibly interesting for both me and my mentee!

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