Monday, February 04, 2008

Leah <3

Leah has become such a huge part of our family's life over the last year. We met her through Dinomights when she was matched with Lacy as a tutor, and since then she has really become an extended member of the family. She even has a spot at the dinner table! It's funny because a lot of people are intimidated by our loud, animated mealtimes, but Leah just fits right in.

Leah now coordinates Dinomight tutoring on Tuedays, but still meets with Lacy once a week to work on homework. They usually go to a coffee shop which of course Lacy thinks is really cool. That time is so special to her and has made a big impact academically. She has always struggled with reading, but after her most recent placement test we were thrilled to find out that she has reached her grade level! There is no doubt in my mind that her improvement is correlated with Leah's dedication over the last year.

As if that wasn't enough, Leah also finds time in her busy schedule of work, school, and volunteering, to mentor me! It's hard to even explain what a gift her mentorship has been. I remember she took me out for lunch a few weeks ago, and we were talking about a friend of hers that had died. She was telling me about what an incredible person this friend was, and about the legacy she had left behind. Then Leah started wondering outloud what kind of legacy she would leave behind if anything happened to her. I can tell you, it would be an amazing legacy! There is this this undeniable, genuine LOVE that seems to define Leah. She invests so much of herself into everyone around her, and is constantly thinking about others. She cares deeply about social justice and it's evident not only by her words, but by her ACTIONS. She has taught me so much about community, friendship, and life in general. I always feel more secure in myself and more prepared to face the world after we talk. Sometimes she just listens, other times she gives me advice (she has a way of gently holding me accountable for things, which I think is really important), but I always leave feeling loved. Mentorship is such an incredible is hard and to have someone navigating it alongside you is invaluable. Especially someone like Leah.

Thanks for everything, we love you Leah!!

Leah writes a blog called Celebrating the Kingdom


Scarlett_333 said...

That is so great. I really believe that everyone needs someone in their life like that to look up to. I mentor a little girl Caitie who is 12 (started when she is 10), so it sounds kind of similar, but she comes from a really rough family situation and as rewarding as it is at times, lately it has been really hard work (worth it though)! I read a bit of Leah's blog, and the post about Lacy is really cute :)


Mandy said...

So great that you have her in your life! You never know when or who you will have an impact on...

KelseyChristine said...

Nikki, that's so cool that you mentor Caitie--especially since you have been doing it for so long! I bet she really appreciates you being a "constant" in her life. Building solid relationships with kids is hard work, but like you said totally worth it :)

P.S. My brother FINALLY has internet access so I asked him what program he is there with and he said it's through the Center for Global Education

Christine said...

It is so neat how you have touched Leah's life.