Congratulations to Community of Hope's 2021 Mentor of the Year, Simon Mosbah!
Simon and his mentee, Terrence, were matched in April 2018 and have shared countless unique and exciting experiences ever since. Simon is a native of France, so he knows first-hand how delightful exploring a new city can be!
The pair visits museums, parks, restaurants, bookstores, and libraries together. They enjoy their time in simple, but creative ways such as learning new words together, practicing math skills, playing board games, and learning how to read a map. The two also take advantage of open studio days at Project Create, as Simon knows that art is a meaningful outlet for his mentee.
Simon shares, "I don’t think I had a goal [as a mentor] except building a relationship with a kid and hopefully opening up a little bit of his universe that he wouldn’t have had otherwise." Recalling one of the most dramatic moments that stood out, Simon also shared, "I took him [Terrence] to a COH event that was run by staff teaching a painting class. In the class, he declared that ‘I know what I want to do when I grow up – I want to be an artist.’ That pure, unbridled realization was so beautiful, and that’s what is incredibly fulfilling."
Terrence also loved his experience with Simon at a sit-down Mexican restaurant so much that he brought the menu home as a souvenir. "Terrence is really daring with food, so we get to explore that a lot. His curiosity has helped me see things differently and I feel like in a way he also helped me reconnect with the kid in me," Simon says of their relationship.
Terrence's younger brother also has a Community of Hope mentor, and the four enjoy playing sports together at Anacostia Park. Simon works hard to stay in touch with Terrence during the pandemic with phone calls, texts, and Facetime, but the two are definitely ready to resume regular visits as soon as it is safe.
Terrence says of Simon, "My mentor is fun because he loves to play and listen to me and teach me things like understanding math and how to pronounce big words and the meaning of the words."
Simon, thank you for having such a meaningful impact on this young man's life! Congratulations!