Mentor Program

Tuesdays with Alaya: a Testimony from Carrie Crow

For the past seven years, most of my Tuesdays have been devoted to spending time with my Protégé, Alaya. She recently graduated from high school, one full year early, thanks to her focus and motivation.

Alaya was supposed to be a 2024 graduate, but she put in the work to graduate with the 2023 class. It is one more reason I am proud of her as she’s managed challenges, adversity, and successes.

I met Alaya when she was 10 years old. We have spent most Tuesdays hanging out together over the past seven years. We have enjoyed many match activities including tennis, swimming, cooking, baking snickerdoodle cookies, getting boba tea (her favorite is Sweet Pops), and trying new restaurants. She loves Blue Hook seafood restaurant for special occasions. She is skilled in the kitchen.

She especially enjoys mixing seafood boils. Alaya likes doing things for others, so she often shared our cookies with her classmates, friends, or family. Once, before her teenage years, we took cookies to a neighborhood policeman and fireman. It was our way of showing them our gratitude for their service.

It is said that the Mentor benefits as much as the Protégé in a match relationship. That has certainly been true in our case. I have learned a lot. Even through the ups and downs in life, I am thankful for our friendship and have been blessed to watch her grow from a girl to a young woman while encouraging her adolescent journey.

I am excited to see what’s next for her and our friendship. I’m looking forward to many more Tuesdays.