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December 01, 2016

Impromptu Mentoring Session Gives Teens Valuable Insights

B-roll:  supplemental footage that helps tell the story. And sometimes, a b-roll session can illuminate something unexpected.

That's what happened at a Norwood school library during filming of a local segment of "The Hero Effect," a United Way Worldwide docu-series.*

As part of the segment, students from Norwood High School's Positively Inspiring People (PIP) were being filmed engaged in conversation with Alex and Hannah Laman, whose story was being captured for The Hero Effect. The twins started Adopt-a-Book in 2013 at age 10 after learning there were kids in our region who have no books in their homes.

Alan Abes, chair of United Way's Youth Succeed Impact Cabinet, also took part. He was on hand to talk about the importance of literacy in helping ensure kids learn and succeed. 

 Volunteer puts mentoring skills to use with high school group





The conversation quickly evolved into a mentoring session as Abes called on his expertise as a past volunteer tutor and mentor. He posed the question, "what are all of our future plans?" The answers spanned a wide range of interests, including culinary arts, psychology, lawyer, Spanish, and a military career to be followed by law enforcement after retirement. 

Abes connected easily with the students, answering questions ranging from how to put a psychology degree to use to how a wide variety of undergraduate majors can help with getting into law school. 

The session stretched well beyond the planned few minutes intended, and the insightful questions kept coming. The interlude was a first hand example of how easily a few minutes of volunteer time can perhaps spark new interests, and guide decisions these kids are now making. 

Do you have skills you can put to use to help local students build the best possible path to their future? As Alex, Hannah and Alan demonstrate, age is no barrier, and giving back can be as easy as making time to share your  life experience and expertise. Find your opportunity today! Visit to learn more.