Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Living Vicariously

Aaron Johnson, Senior Global Account Manager with National Oilwell Varco (NOV), and Raudel, and eighth grade student at Spring Woods Middle School have become fast friends in their one-and-a-half year mentor/mentee relationship.

Both look forward each week to having time to talk about what is going on in each others’ lives. Mr. Johnson grew up in SBISD, and is also a part of the Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church (MDPC) group of mentors who serve in large part at Spring Woods Middle School.

Raudel was pleasantly surprised to meet Mr. Johnson when they were matched last year as part of the MDPC mentor recruiting program.

“I thought, ‘He’s young!,’” said Raudel, and this has made it easier to talk about up-to-date topics. Many of Raudel’s friends regret not getting a mentor, now, and having someone to talk with each week. “I feel bad for them. They are missing out on a lot,” said Raudel.

Mr. Johnson states, “Raudel has such an interesting life. He is certainly more focused than when I was in middle school!” Raudel’s mentor marvels at the variety of sports he participates in, especially soccer, which Mr. Johnson has had the pleasure of watching him in action on the field.

Raudel also plays violin in the advanced orchestra, is an excellent student, and everyone seems to say “hi” to him as he and his mentor walk down the halls. Mr. Johnson says he is re-living his middle school years through Raudel.

“This has been an amazing experience to get to know Raudel,” said Mr. Johnson. “He has so much potential. Raudel has the tools to develop over the years to become successful young man, and it will be exciting to watch him grow up.”

Mr. Johnson also noted that Raudel benefits from the support of an “amazing” family, all of whom recently attended a mentor-mentee family dinner at the NOV Corporate headquarters.

At that dinner, Raudel surprised Mr. Johnson with a tribute about how much their relationship means to him. Raudel is inspired by Mr. Johnson’s college degrees and his “cool job” at NOV.

This middle school student has the goal to go to college, have a stable job, and be able to support a family, just like his mentor. Some of the aspects of Mr. Johnson’s job that impress Raudel are his ability to convince clients to buy the company’s products over a good meal or at a ball game (paid for by the company), and his opportunities to travel globally.

There is a lot mutual admiration between this mentor and mentee, as well as the vicarious longing to experience and discuss life from each others’ points of view. Both are, and will be, better men because of this relationship.


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