Brad Paynter (Mentor, 2002-2003) reflections on a mentor relationship with a student, that’s lasted over 12 years. At Shelterwood Academy we have fostered hundreds of these type of committed mentor relationship and believe that your teen would benefit from this type of life long support.
Zach had been on the Shelterwood campus for a number of months before I arrived in the fall of 2002. The friendship was immediate. We shared a very similar history: both from Iowa, both soccer players, both raised in military families. In addition, both our fathers were physicians who knew each other through their respective careers despite the distance between our cities.
But the providence of our encounter extended beyond the regular kind of mentor relationship that is wonderfully typical of staff and students. Soon after I my role as a mentor in 2003, I invited my parents to Zach’s graduation party in central Iowa. What developed was truly a display of God’s provision for community among believers. On more than one occasion our families have been a blessing to each other in ways that can only be understood by our similar histories. When my father retired from the National Guard, the Websters helped us find a spot for the reception after the ceremony, and then helped with the preparations.
Zach and I have continued our friendship through the years. We have commented at times that being at Shelterwood seemed like an entirely different life—in a weird but wonderful place. What a blessed life.