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Mentor Makes Norwalk Teen's Life Golden

Ian Golden has benefited from having a mentor while growing up, so it’s not surprising he plans to return the favor. Golden, a senior at Norwalk High School, was one of the winners of Main Street Connect’s Close to My Heart contest this month. He plans to give his share of the $500 prize to the Norwalk Mentor Program . “It seems like that would benefit more people than if I used it myself,” he says.

But Golden intends to pay it back with his actions as well. This summer, he’ll return to Greenwood Trails, a summer camp in Winsted, for his second year as a counselor. “I was a camper, but last year was my first as a counselor, and I really enjoyed it,” he says.

Next year, Golden will head off to college, probably to UMass-Amherst, where he wants to study to become a teacher. “I’ve had some great teachers who really inspired me, and I’d like to be able to do the same to other kids down the road,” he says. Golden's desire is to teach in high school. “I think you can have the greatest impact at that level,” he says.

Bob Davis, who has been Golden’s mentor since second grade, has had a tremendous impact on him and was the subject of his Close to My Heart essay. Davis was also selected as mentor of the year and was honored at a January gathering at Stepping Stones Museum for Children as part of the mentoring program's 25th anniversary. “I got to speak in front of a lot of people,” says Golden. “I was a little nervous. But it was a surprise for Bob, which made it even better for him.”

It’s clear that Golden looks up to Davis, and it’s a major reason he looks forward to making the transition from mentee to mentor as he continues his studies.

Have you ever been a mentor? What was the experience like? Add a comment below.

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