“It has brought me great joy knowing I was able to have a positive impact on a young life.”
New Orleans, Louisiana - October, 2020
My name is Sasha. I work with a program called Mentoring Children of Promise. It’s a program that was set up to help children who have at least one incarcerated parent. I recently learned that the need for mentors is great. Louisiana has the nation’s highest incarceration rate.
I have been mentoring Jasriel since she was six, when she came to the program. She had no father and her mother was incarcerated. Her elderly grandmother was raising Jasriel and three siblings. Shy and struggling in school, Jasriel needed extra attention. As a Tulane University freshman, I began spending time with Jasriel each week. I helped her with schoolwork, gave her support and took her to the zoo and museums—things that her grandmother had little time to do with her. I got her a library card and encouraged her to read.
Today, Jasriel is 14, a sweet teen who does well in school. I have remained a guiding force in her life and she has blossomed into a vibrant young lady. It has brought me great joy knowing I was able to have a positive impact on a young life.
Children have endless amounts of love, and I have experienced this firsthand through many calls, cards and paintings Jasriel has made for me. I have a strong relationship with Jasriel and plan for our friendship to last long after I’ve left the program. Hopefully, we’ll stay in touch throughout our lives.