Helping America's Most Vulnerable

Jasriel and Sasha: A Life-Changing Friendship

Jasriel was only six years old when she came to our Mentoring Children of Promise Program.

She had no father and her mother was incarcerated, leaving her elderly grandmother to raise her, two older brothers and a younger sister. Jasriel was very shy and even at such a young age struggled in school. Although her grandmother tried very hard to give the children what they needed, it was difficult to support all their needs.

Thankfully, Sasha, a freshman at Tulane University, had applied to be a mentor with our program at just the right time to be paired with Jasriel.

The relationship between the two blossomed. It couldn’t have gone better! Sasha is able to do a lot of the things with Jasriel that her grandmother has neither the time nor the resources to do – visit the zoo, aquarium, and children’s museum. She also introduced Jasriel to the library, got her a library card and helps her with her school work.

Sasha provides Jasriel with the undivided time and attention she needs that helps her thrive. The two have been together for five years. During this time, Jasriel has grown into a sweet preteen who does well in school thanks to her relationship with Sasha.

The relationship also has a great impact on Sasha, who says, “It brings me great joy knowing I am able to have a positive impact on a young life while also serving as a role model. Children have endless amounts of love and I have experienced this firsthand through many phone calls, cards and paintings she has made for me. I have a strong relationship with Jasriel and plan for our friendship to last even after I leave the program.”