Jessica & Esmeralda

Friendship Stories:

Letters from Jessica & Esmeralda

Esmeralda’s Story
Esmeralda was 14 and constantly in trouble at school.  At the recommendation of her counselor, she came to Friends for Youth and was matched with her Senior Friend Jessica.  This is a letter she wrote to Jessica.
Dear Jessica,
I want to take my time and thank you for giving me the chance to experience so many things that I never in my life imagined doing.  You are a great and special friend.  Thank you for being there through thick and thin.  You have given great support throughout everything I have been through.  I feel grateful to know that when I need a shoulder to lean on, you are always there.  I am really lucky to have a friend like you because a lot of people out there would want to have the chance to have a friend like I do.
During these three years we have known each other, we have been through so many marvelous times and many fun adventures.  Like when you took me to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  The other one I really enjoyed was going to San Francisco and taking pictures at the Gap.  That was so fun, I remember after that we went to eat ice cream.
This program has helped me in a lot of ways.  It has helped me control my negative attitude toward my parents and sisters, and it also prevented me from getting into  serious trouble. It made me more open to people. I hope we will be friends forever, and I won’t ever forget about you because you sill always hold a special place in my heart. I hope I do in yours. You are such a great role model. serious trouble.  
Warmest hugs your friend,
Jessica’s Story
I have always been involved with tutoring classmates and elementary students, but I wanted something more long term and an opportunity to help someone on a personal level.  I heard about Friends for Youth through a coworker and came with her to an orientation session.  I was so excited when I left the orientation, but at the same time scared because I did not know how my life experiences could help a young person that had such a drastically different home and school life.  A few months after I submitted my application, I got a call that I had been matched!  It was great when I first met Esmeralda, but she was so shy.  I seriously thought I would have to do all the talking.  Fortunately, by the second time we met, she was doing all the talking, sharing some of her deepest fears and experiences I could not even imagine.  Friends for Youth has helped me tremendously in preparing for mentoring, and also providing guidance whenever tough issues arose.  I am also amazed by the number of events and opportunities that are available to Friendships.  Esmeralda and I have enjoyed so many of those great times!  Esmeralda is such a creative individual that she decided to write a letter to me.  I, therefore, decided to emulate her.
Dear Esmeralda,
It is so amazing that we have known each other for three years.  I can still remember when we first met…you did not say more than a few words.  The second time we met  I saw a very different side of you, and thought to myself, “How will I be able to offer anything to this girl?”  We struggled through the first year as you were going through a lot, but we stuck it out!  I am so glad that you decided to continue meeting.
I know it has been difficult with my work and personal travel, but I am very happy to hear that you saved all of the postcards (20+) I got you.  I do hope that you will see all of the places I have seen, and many more.  There are so many great people to meet and places to see in the world!
You continue to amaze me every time we speak.  I am so happy that you have decided to make changes in your own life, changes that have led you to a better relationship with your family, enthusiasm toward school, and an overall positive outlook on life.  You have convinced me that you can do anything you want to do.
I am grateful for our wonderful friendship, and I do hope we will continue to meet and talk for years to come.  Whether you are trying to convince me to watch scary movies, or sharing your thoughts, I always enjoy the time we spend together.
Thank you for teaching me so much about life, and the community we live in.  I have learned so many valuable lessons from you.
Your friend,

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Transforming the lives of at-risk youth through the power of mentoring