Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Transitions Reflection: Kassie Zohn

Today was my first day going to the Transitions Center in Spokane, WA and I had no idea what to expect. I knew my mentee's name is Caitlynn and that I would be spending the next two hours with her, but I wasn't sure what else would happen. When I met her, I expected her to be shy and take a while to warm up to me, but immediately she was excited to meet me and asked if I wanted to play a game with her. Within minutes, we were sitting on the ground playing Connect 4 and getting to know each other. Besides some physical similarities such as both of us having long hair and wearing black boots that day, we found that we both like chocolate and vanilla swirl ice cream, the color pink, sing-a-long songs, and pretending to be princesses.

As the evening went on, she showed no hesitation to play around with me. We hula hooped, played freeze tag with the other mentors and mentees, and did some reading activities on the computer. Then later, we did two of my favorite activities from that evening: playing Princesses and Monsters and playing hide and seek. Princesses and Monsters involved one of us walking across a table while the other hid under the table or under a plastic castle and tried to grab the other's leg as they walked by. At first, it was just Caitlynn and me, but when I struggled to fit my 5' 8" frame under a 3' tall plastic castle, I recruited a fellow mentor, Michael, and his mentee Jada to play alongside us. Caitlynn and Jada are biological sisters, and seeing them interact with each other was heart warming. Of course there were little squabbles here and there, but seeing them playing around together and be happy was so much fun. It quickly turned into all four of us taking turns being both monsters and princesses (even Michael!).

Later in the evening, all the mentors and mentees went upstairs to the main level, where we all played hide and seek. It quickly turned into fellow mentor Jim hiding with the kids while the Knights and I looked around for them. Believe it or not, there were a couple times we couldn't find them right away! Seeing these kids interact with each other was so encouraging and knowing that I get to set a positive example not only for my mentee, but also for the other mentees is a great experience. I had a couple hesitations going into service being the only girl who goes at this time slot on Mondays, but after seeing everyone interact I have no hesitations about the upcoming weeks and can't wait to spend more time with my mentee, fellow mentors, and all the other children at the Transitions Center.

-Kassie Zohn
Seton of Gonzaga

Some of the drawings that Caitlynn made for Kassie.

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