Faces without Places is always looking for opportunities to improve upon current programming, and surveys are a great tool to provide the data to make decisions on what requires changes and also to highlight what is working. At the conclusion of the ZooMates program, 100% of the mentors participated in the follow up survey. As you can see from the sample responses below from the mentors, the data truly shows that the mentor/mentee relationship is symbiotic. They gain so much learning, relationship building and trust together. FwP is so pleased with the continued success of the program and looks forward to another rewarding school year in the fall.
What new insights about yourself have you gained by participating in the ZooMates program?
"My partnership with my Zoomates mentee has transformed my volunteer experience. Prior to ZooMates I did lots of service work, but it was with groups, organizations, or summer programs. I have never had the chance to work one on one with a single student. I have learned so much about myself and my partner. He really has opened my eyes to what it means to get to know someone and to be there for someone consistently. He is in a unique situation that most 2nd grade students are usually not in. Through all of this he has an unbelievably positive attitude, is a true friend, a respectful mentee, and always willing to try new activities."
Has participating in ZooMates changed your outlook on future career or volunteer goals?
"Yes, I have always loved volunteering for different organizations, but I never did anything so consistently. So, instead of volunteering for numerous different things for one time, I want to try and volunteer at a few places numerous times so I can not only help them more effectively, but also be able to develop relationships with the people I'm with to make volunteering more effective."
How has your involvement in ZooMates changed or further developed your viewpoint regarding homelessness?
"This experience has definitely changed my outlook on those battling homelessness. I realize now just how hard-working they truly are in order to give their children a good childhood and education. And in the children, though some do not realize their situation, they are spectacular. They inspired me everyday because when I would see their smiling faces each week when we met, I noticed how they each would make the most out of their time with us. They inspired me to not only be a better mentor (because they deserve the best mentors since they are such awesome kids), but also a better friend, daughter, granddaughter, etc."