The Seattle Times Features YES SUCCESS Mentorship Pair Jorge and George
As an Eastside boy’s confidence grows, a mentor finds unexpected rewards
By: Paige Cornwell, The Seattle Times
Jorge Cuevas-Jimenez was terrified as he stood at the bottom of the rock-climbing wall. It was his first time at a climbing gym, and the 11-year-old was too scared to move off the ground.
George Lampe stepped in. The two talked about what Jorge was feeling — he’s afraid of heights — and mapped out which holds he could grab and step onto as he worked his way up the wall.
Slowly, with every movement, Jorge gained confidence. With Lampe’s coaxing and encouragement, Jorge made it to the top.
Jorge’s accomplishment could serve as a teaching moment about how it takes time to reach your goals. For the sixth grader, it was just a fun new hobby with his mentor.
“I was nervous at the beginning, but now I feel pretty good about it,” he said. “It’s fun to hang out with George.”
Jorge and Lampe were connected through the Youth Eastside Services Success Mentoring Program, which pairs adults with students in the Bellevue and Lake Washington school districts. The students are often from low-income or single-parent households and at a greater risk of having problems in and outside of school. More than 1,000 Eastside students have taken part in the program since it began more than 20 years ago.