“Throwing a lot of questions at a teenager usually hits a brick wall. I simply remind them that I am with them, I am going to stick it out and not go away because I will be their advocate.”
Take Stock in Children of Broward wants to recognize Daniel Austin for his devotion and amazing service to the program by mentoring three students. Daniel became interested in Take Stock in Children when a judge spoke to him about the exciting opportunities to work with young people. That conversation sparked Daniel to join the program as a mentor in 2003. Daniel is currently a retired professor but began his career as a high school teacher. What Daniel enjoys most about mentoring is the opportunity to stay young, to walk into a school building and see young people excited about life, to witness their friendships, and abundant opportunities.
Although, every mentor and mentee schedules are different what helps Daniel to be successful in managing three students is his ability to be transparent with his mentees. Daniel informs his mentees that their time and his time are valuable. Daniel states, “Wasted time cannot be retrieved, so I call the students each week to find out about their schedule and to make my schedule compatible with theirs. I expect students to return my phone calls within 24 hours and to inform me if they have any last-minute changes. Not returning phone calls promptly is a NO-NO. Also, I want to be respectful of their commitments, so I never come to the school during their lunch periods. Lunch is for them to eat and to socialize. I am to serve them and to improve their chances of being successful. If they do not get these messages about timeliness, punctuality, and success then I work with them until they learn.”
Daniel’s Tip to New Mentors: Try and find out their interests, hobbies, favorite subjects and teachers, then moderate the conversations with a few questions.
Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for our students! Thank you for #ChangingLives!
Daniel L. Austin, Ph.D.