Blog by Liza Sutton
It’s a privilege to be sitting here with Patricia Stevens, one of Beautiful Day’s Youth Program Mentors. Patricia has been volunteering for us for a short time, but already has had a tremendous impact on the youth whom she is mentoring. Patricia has been a tax preparer for 22 years and is living with her husband on the West Side of Providence.
She graciously sat with me while I asked her a few questions:
Liza: You are new to RI! What brought you here?
Patricia: My husband came out of retirement (in Cape Cod) and got a job in Woonsocket, and we decided to live in Providence...Providence seems like a good city to try out; it’s convenient, has good restaurants, is affordable, has great amenities, has a diverse community.
Liza: How did you find Beautiful Day?
Patricia: Serendipity. I was shopping at Urban Greens…I bought some granola bars. I told everyone I knew about them! I received an email that you were looking for volunteers. So that’s how it happened. Sheer luck and serendipity!
Liza: What was it about the mentor program that attracted you?
Patricia: I had the time, and…I wanted to work with teenagers. I am working with four youth.
We went kayaking, went out to dinner. I’ve taken them for job interviews. They are dying to work, very ambitious. One of the kid’s first paycheck was for $300 and he gave it to his parents. They are so appreciative of what BD has offered them.
Liza: Were you at all apprehensive before you met with your group?
Patricia: No, not at all. It’s been so easy. The staff is very helpful, not hammering me over the head about not doing enough. It’s a perfect amount of support. I feel like I can reach out if I need help. There is lots of interaction and support.
Liza: What do you think you can offer to the youth?
Patricia: I’m a grandmother figure! If they need a ride, want some fun, friendly advice, they look at me like I’m their grandmother. I had no idea what it was going to be like. I’m good with people, but I don’t spend much time with teenagers...They are just such a pleasure. They don’t have a lot and are so appreciative.
Liza: Any special stories to share?
Patricia: I was going with Ajax on a walk. I brought my dog in the car; Ajax was nervous to meet my dog. But the dog started wagging her tail. Ajax warmed up to her, and wanted a photo of himself with her. It was such a nice moment when he warmed up to her right away.
Liza: Will you be a mentor again, for another group of kids?