Friday, March 6, 2009

Volunteer Spotlight: Charlie Megan

This week we’re proud to put 3 year veteran tutor, Charlie Megan, in the Volunteer Spotlight! Back in 2006 Charlie was looking to get involved in youth mentoring through Big Brothers/Big Sisters. He found himself seated next to Cabrini Connections Founder and CEO, Dan Bassill at a Union League Club annual dinner and the next thing Charlie knew, he was paired up and working with Jones College Prep freshman, George Johnson, his current mentee. At that time George had been bouncing around between a handful of tutors looking for the right match. Upon Charlie’s arrival, they hit it off right off the bat and started making great strides with George’s math coursework. Charlie found that, since George has the smarts to be getting good grades in math, they would focus on improving his organization, making sure to get him in the habit of writing out all the steps as he arrived to a particular solution.

However, Charlie’s mentoring role has taken different forms at different times to suit his student’s particular needs. During the past few years, Charlie has worked to earn George’s trust and friendship, focusing on building their repoire so he can be more responsive to George’s needs. To this end, Charlie has also been building a relationship with George’s family. For example, he went to his 8th grade graduation and was able to meet his parents and some extended family. Charlie stays in particularly good contact with George’s mother. They typically exchange emails about 3 times per week, updating each other on George’s status, challenges, achievements…etc. as well as to confirm that George will be attending tutoring each week. Charlie has also made an effort to develop relationships with individuals at George’s school, such as his school counselor, to stay abreast of any important developments at school. He also ensures that they meet once a month outside of our center for dinner or just to go shopping together for school supplies.

Though Charlie had never mentored youth before starting here at Cabrini Connections, he has always had a fondness for teaching—he taught at a sailing school growing up. For this reason, he has found his time here to be a real learning experience. However, in his relationship with George, Charlie has found out that the key factor is consistency. George knows exactly what to expect from him week after week and can count on him to be there for him.

Having studied finance at Michigan State and gone on to start his own real estate development firm, Red Ceder Partners, Charlie is no stranger to the hard work and dedication it takes to see a project through to completion. Thus, we are confident that he and George will stay the course and reap the rewards of the significant investment they’ve made in each other. Congratulations Charlie and keep up the great work!

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