What May Seem Small to You, Could Mean the World to Another

“I just wanted to say thank you. I had told [my mentee] that I have been thinking since last year when he graduated from Lincoln HS, that I had not given him anything to celebrate or congratulate him for graduating, being awarded scholarship at the Palmer Luncheon and also being accepted and attending UW. I could have given him a tennis racket, sweat bands for tennis, t-shirt, etc, but those type of gifts I feel looking back, would have been insignificant compared to seeing his response when I handed him a brand new bicycle of his own. One thing that I found out during our lunch conversation is that [my mentee] told me he had never learned how to ride a bike, which is basically saying that he never even owned his own bicycle. I have to say that, that really hit hard with me thinking that he was never given that opportunity. He could not believe his eyes and was in shock. I thank you both for allowing me to give him a gift that I know he will appreciate and allow [my mentee’s] doors to be opened and can explore Seattle much more than taking just a bus.”

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Mentoring is a personal relationship that kind of brings in the best values of the foundation. But, you see it lived firsthand in your relationship with the student as they matriculate through college.  And I've probably mentored 6 students in the last 15, 20 years and the personal relationship is the most valuable part of it. I gain more out of the relationship than I think the mentee does.     

- Bryan Burks; Former Palmer Scholars mentor and Board member