Anthony from Fort Elementary finally has a mentor of his own.
As part of the Fort Sask Boys and Girls Club's In-School Mentorship Program, Anthony and his partner Anthony Dionigi have spent almost a year together. The pair meet up at school for an hour each week and often play various games or simply chat.
"I like playing checkers — I always kick his butt," said young Anthony.
He noted it's wonderful to have someone like Dionigi to call his "big brother," especially after spending nearly a year on a waiting list. His favourite memory so far was when his mentor took him out for sushi for his birthday.
For Dionigi, it has been a gift to be a part of Anthony's life and to try to be a good guide for him.
"I think it's important for youth like Anthony to have mentors as a break in between the day, to spend time in a relaxed environment hanging out and having fun."
Being part of the mentorship program has also given both of them a chance to form relationships outside of their everyday school and work lives.
"I know a lot of people are hesitant about being a mentor because of the time commitment, but it's really an enjoyable experience and it's not as burdensome as some people might think. It's actually really positive for both people participating," Dionigi added.
The Fort Saskatchewan Boys and Girls Club have a waiting list of about 20 kids for their mentorship programs. Across Alberta, nearly 3,000 kids are waiting for a mentor.