TeamMates of the Month: Kaylee & Ashlee

Thriving TeamMates

Kaylee discovered one of her strengths when her first mentor at Roper Elementary School had a career change and moved away: adaptability.

“I was sad when she left. But thinking back, I was excited to meet Ashlee. Actually, they looked kind of alike.” 

She and her mentor Ashlee share a history.

“I’ve known her since I was 10,” says Kaylee. “That’s so long. We have a lot of things in common. Sometimes I think we are the same person!”

The many similarities they share surprised Ashlee too.

“We are both laid back and don’t take things too seriously, which makes it fun to hang out. Having similar personalities and sense of humor has made it easy to get to know each other.”

Ashlee remembers how excited she was to meet her mentee.

“Kaylee is my first TeamMate. The first and the best.” 

Kaylee can’t believe she will graduate in just two years. 

“It feels like I just graduated from elementary school!” 

They are a hands-on match, doing crafts, puzzles, coloring, etc., when they are together. That made Covid-19 their greatest challenge. 

“We had to adapt,” says Ashlee, “but I’m glad we could meet on Zoom even if it wasn’t what we preferred.”

It isn’t all play. Kaylee has improved her writing skills with Ashlee’s help. 

“She would read it first and ask what it is about, then she would ask me how I want to end it so she can help me in that direction, and then we’d go over what I wrote.” 

She keeps the questions Ashlee has asked in her head and uses them to improve all of her assignments.

Meeting mid-week last year really made things easier for Kaylee.

“If I start off the week ‘iffy’ and then I see Ashlee, I’m great. She’s my Friday.” 

Ashlee brings a calm presence, one of three words Kaylee chose to describe her mentor. 

“Her voice makes me feel like I don’t ever have to worry about anything. If the room is hot and she walks in, I swear she cools it down.”

High praise from a mentee who Ashlee says has, “grown up, become more outgoing, comfortable, mature and more confident and driven in her school work.”

In the future, a couple things are on the horizon – they think they will try a service project next school year. They’ve never done one before.

And they think they will stay connected after graduation.

“It would be weird not seeing you every week after this,” says Ashlee.

Kaylee is already imagining what it might be like to be a mentor herself. 

“Not that long from now, I am going to be Ashlee’s age when she started mentoring me! It would be so fun to be a mentor!”

Kaylee will have the chance to find out what Ashlee has learned. 

“You can make such an impact on a person and being able to take time out of your day to focus on somebody else, to invest in them, is really rewarding.”

Published: September 5, 2023, Updated: September 5, 2023

Kaylee and Ashlee are September's TeamMates of the Month