For Carlton Richmond, being a mentor comes naturally. This native Washingtonian has volunteered with Community of Hope’s mentor program for the past two years, working with JT, a junior at Anacostia High School. “It’s my way of giving back to my community,” Carlton says. “It’s about him, it’s not about me."
Carlton and JT get together once a month, sometimes to focus on schoolwork, sometimes to go on educational outings to places like the Aquarium or the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore. And sometimes, Carlton takes JT on “goof-off” trips to the movies or a basketball game. JT especially enjoyed their recent visit to the Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia.
For Carlton, the relationship is all about being a role model. “I try to show him by example,” he says. Carlton volunteers frequently with organizations like Meals on Wheels, and is active in his church. “I do a lot of things for my community, and I let him know about it.”
JT appreciates Carlton’s support with his schoolwork. “I’ve been doing way more homework” since working with Carlton, he says. And he’s kept his grades up. Because of his academic achievement, JT has been selected for a special educational program at Catholic University this summer.
Carlton hopes to keep working with JT until he graduates. Carlton says. “If I can be the instrument to help JT better himself, that’s what I’m here for; to help him reach his full potential.”
Become a mentor!If you’re inspired by Carlton’s story and want to support a kid like JT, consider becoming a Community of Hope mentor. Our mentorship program matches compassionate, responsible adults with homeless or formerly homeless youth ages 8-18. Learn more here.