Tonight was my last mentoring session for the school year.
I volunteer once a week, leading art classes for at-risk youth at a residential treatment facility near my house. It’s a fun, challenging, rewarding, and sometimes overwhelming job. This was my fourth year with the program, and my third at this location.
The last session of the semester is always a strange one. It’s a celebration, but also a time of goodbyes. To ensure the safety of the youth we work with, we don’t share (or accept) contact information with (or from) them. And while I’ll be back in the fall, hopefully all of the youth from this semester will have graduated by then and settled into their post-treatment-facility lives.
It’s a funny thing to say, “I’m so glad I got to know you, and I hope I never see you again,” and mean every word of it. But it’s really the best thing we can leave them with.
Thank you. Goodbye. Keep making art.