Mentors work wonders

Brian Snow is a Sacramento mentor with Wonder Inc.

In the fall of 2005, I became a mentor.

I did this because there was a vacancy in my early years for a positive male role model in my life. My dad was around, but he was caught up in work and wasn’t available to be the kind of dad I really wanted as a kid: fun-loving, easy to laugh with, willing to try new things and make a fool of himself once in a while. I wanted to be this person in a young man’s life, so when I came across an announcement in SN&R about the need for mentors, I made the decision to step forward, and it has changed my life.

Mentoring has not only allowed me to give something to someone without expecting anything in return, but also allowed me to grow and become a better friend and father. I have been mentoring the same child for 21 months.

Wonder Inc. is a mentoring organization that links adult mentors with children in foster care and helps them build stable relationships. That can sound a little intimidating, especially to men, but the key to it all is just showing up.

We don’t have a lot of heart-to-heart talks. We just get together, hang out, and have fun. Many times, kids in foster care lack even one consistent person in their life. They have to move a lot, and having a mentor who cares and is there consistently can be the anchor that keeps them from drifting into oblivion.

As a Guide (that’s Wonder’s term for an adult mentor), you would spend about eight hours per month with your Explorer—the child you’ve been matched with—doing a variety of activities that the two of you will choose together, such as sporting events, nature walks, miniature golf or dining out.

Why is this important? Because research shows that the best predictor that a child will be able to successfully rebound from trauma is the presence of a caring, consistent adult in their life. Mentors really do work wonders.

If you would like to get more information on mentoring or attend an orientation, you can call (916) 921-9777 or e-mail