You may remember or even have voted for Chelsy Spencer (pictured above, right) who was selected as our 2015 Cabot Community Celebrity Cruise award winner. Chelsy, a volunteer mentor for six years and counting, was nominated by the Executive Director of Hour Children Mentoring in Long Island, NY, in recognition of her service.
In November 2015, Chelsy set sail with over 50 volunteers selected by a range of nonprofit groups being honored with an all-expense paid, eight-day, seven-night Caribbean cruise. The cruise featured workshops and seminars aimed at strengthening their volunteer efforts, allowing them to share tips and tactics with peers, and offering the opportunity to enjoy fun activities, dining and entertainment.
In celebration of National Mentoring Month and the launch of our In Real Life campaign, we followed up with Chelsy, who described her cruise experience as unforgettable, to hear firsthand how being honored by the farm families who own Cabot Creamery Cooperative and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) strengthened her commitment to mentoring.
What was your reaction when you were voted as our contest winner? How was your experience on Cabot’s Celebrity Cruise to the Caribbean?
“It was a total shock to win! When I won, I was so genuinely excited and so was [my mentee] Theresa (pictured above, left). Cabot Creamery Cooperative put so much time in getting to know us and make us feel like we were part of a group, even before the trip started. The cruise itself was amazing. You got to do excursions, but we had the opportunity to attend enrichment seminars as well. It was a wonderful opportunity.”
What has been the most meaningful part of your mentoring relationship with your mentee, Theresa?
“Theresa (pictured left) and I have been matched nearly seven years. I started mentoring her [when I was] in college and she had just turned eight. When I think about why I started mentoring, I had just moved to New York and was thinking how great it would be to have someone to explore the city with. And now she’s 14 and I’ve had the privilege of being a part of her life and have seen her grow up. We’re not blood related, but she’s become such a big part of my life. It’s an amazing thing to be part of that and she’s willing to share her life with me.”
What would you say to others who may be considering volunteering as a mentor in their local community?
“Mentoring, I think sometimes people are wary of making that commitment. Even if you commit to mentoring a child for one year, you can make such an impact by forming a relationship with that person. If it becomes a lifelong thing, that’s great. But by being there for even a shorter period of time, really can make all the difference.
I am a mentor because mentoring has made a difference not only in my life, but both of our lives in a positive way. Relationships can change people in so many ways and the trajectory of your life, and mentoring certainly has done that for me. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Cabot Creamery and MENTOR will be partnering again this year to select another deserving mentor for the 2017 Cabot Community Celebrity Cruise to Alaska. Stay tuned and follow #MentoringCruise on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to receive all content updates!