Mentor Spotlight: Bob Hegeman’s Lifetime of Service
In honor of National Mentoring Month, Communities In Schools® (CIS®) salutes mentors who make a powerful difference for young people by showing up consistently. Mentors like Bob Hegeman, a volunteer at Seven Hills Elementary School.
Bob first began volunteering with CIS of North Texas (CISNT) in 2015 through his church, Lifepoint Fellowship, which provides food to students at Seven Hills through a snack program. But he has been a positive role model for much longer than that.
Over 20 years ago, he began mentoring as a youth sponsor with his wife Evelyn at their church in Kansas. And after moving to Texas, he mentored with the Boys and Girls Club in Fort Worth while he worked at BNSF Railway.
Bob has been matched with four CISNT students since 2015, following them, when possible, on to middle and high school.
Bob knows firsthand that not all mentor matches work out. Sometimes students move away. Sometimes, they decide mentoring isn’t for them. Bob says when that happens you can second guess yourself, wondering what you could have done differently, but he also says there is nothing more special than seeing a child open up throughout the year and seeing them improve.
He also knows that his presence in a student’s life can have a significant impact when they grow up, even if he only meets with them for a short time, and knowing they have a person in their corner can make all the difference.
Bob’s current mentee is Alan, a first grader who likes math. Although they met less than a year ago, their consistent weekly meetings have helped the two develop a solid relationship. “He is opening up more all the time,” Bob says. “I gave him a candy bar today, and as he was leaving, he said he was going to give it to his teacher. That is pretty special.”
Bob approaches his meetings with Alan with quiet patience, allowing Alan to direct their conversation.
Bob’s face lights up when he talks about Alan. He cares so much about all the students he’s mentored, and he’s always incredibly dedicated to them, showing up each week to meet with them and taking the time to really get to know them. We’re so lucky to have him.
- Katie McInnis, CISNT Volunteer Coordinator
CISNT recently hosted its second annual Mentoring Summit, which celebrated volunteers and featured a panel of mentors, site coordinators and alumni who shared the importance and impact of mentoring. The event was held Friday, Jan. 12 at the Lewisville ISD Bolin Professional Learning Center.
National Mentoring Month is an annual campaign celebrated in January, dedicated to raising awareness about the power of mentoring and recognizing the contributions of current mentors while encouraging prospective mentors.