Friday, December 5, 2014

Artisans Reflection: Kelli Wrolstad

This year I am going to be volunteering with Artisans, an incredible organization that helps employ disabled adults. Although I was excited to start working with Artisans, I was actually really nervous because I had never had any experience working with mentally disabled individuals before. However, even after only two weeks it is clear that I never had anything to worry about.

I first met my mentee, Jackie, when a handful of Artisans clients came to Gonzaga to help us make masks for our Charity Auction. This was before the mentorship assignments had been made, but I partnered up with Jackie right away because she is very shy and did not want to be in the large group of people. We set up our mask-making station in a corner, listened to music, and looked at pictures of her adorable niece.

The next week I learned that Jackie had called Artisans and specifically asked that I be her mentor. I was so touched that she had enjoyed our time together so much, and therefore I could not wait to begin spending more time with her every week.

During our mentoring we usually talk about our weeks, listen to music, and play board games, which get very competitive! Jackie has schooled me in checkers way too many times. Last week we went bowling and it was great seeing Jackie outside of the Artisans center because she had such a fun time and was able to interact more with the other people in our group.

Jackie and I wrote down some goals for the year, and she said that her goal was to become my best friend. I know we are well on the way towards that because I already feel so close to Jackie and have learned a lot from her. Jackie has shown me so much love in the short time that I have known her, and she has taught me how important it is to cherish your loved ones. I am so thankful to have this opportunity to be a part of Jackie’s life, and know that it will challenge me as well and cause me to grow as a person.

-Kelli Wrolstad
Seton of Gonzaga

A note that Jackie wrote to Kelli after their first week together. 

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