Mentor Moment: Eric and Yusif

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Eric has been mentoring Yusif since his junior year of high school. Yusif is a gifted soccer player who is interested in a career in sports medicine or physical therapy. He is in his first semester at SUNY Plattsburgh. We recently heard from Eric, who was instrumental in helping Yusif with his last-minute preparations for college. Yusif's parents were unable to bring him to college, as they were visiting family in Ghana, so it was Eric, his mentor, who helped him finalize his college plans and get him settled in his dorm room. 

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"Yusif is a great kid and has changed my perspective on a lot of things. My wife, and my larger family, has seen an empathetic side of me they always knew existed but was rarely brought out. 

While we were getting Yusif his school supplies, I said: "Do you have a pillow to bring to school or should we get one?"…he replied, “yeah, I have one, but if I take it then my little brother won’t have one.” That broke my heart and I realized, this isn’t about me.  

All I wanted was for this kid to feel “normal” when he got to school. To not have to worry about clean sheets, a pillow...etc. I'm glad to say that I think we accomplished that. 

He is off to a good start, going to class, and he scored an assist in his first collegiate game. He loves the team, the school and the coaches. Mentoring Yusif has not only changed my life, it has changed my family’s life as well."