Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_top position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_bottom position below the menu.

Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_bottom position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_top position below the search.
Letter From a Mentor

My involvement with the Rotsky Foundation began when I attended an awards ceremony at Case Western Reserve University about 20 years ago.  Jeff Rotsky was being recognized as a special “young alumnus”.  At this time, I was interested in mentoring and had looked into Big Brothers; I had gone through all of the evaluation and approval processes, but they were very slow in assigning me a student to mentor.  That night at the CWRU event, I mentioned this to Jeff and, to my surprise, he said, “I have someone you can begin working with tomorrow”.

I met Tony very soon after that, and we began our lifelong relationship.  This all began when I was 51 and Tony was 14.  Tony was a National Honor student at John Marshall High School, but his mom felt that he would benefit from some outside guidance.  Tony’s parents are nice people but had gone through many of the problems typical of an inner-city family.  They found it difficult with three children to plan and budget for all of their family’s financial needs.  They had trouble prioritizing where they spent their money and would spend money on things they could have gone without, while at the same time they were being evicted from their home.  Both parents had health problems that affected their ability to work and progress at jobs.  They were also frustrated with dealing with young children that always wanted to have what everyone else had despite the lack of financial resources.

Tony was like any young person.  He was interested in clothes, felt he should have things that might be beyond his financial reality, had a care-free attitude about life, and I was not sure where he wanted to go with his life.  On the positive side, Tony was also willing to work hard, try different things, and listen to advice, and, when he saw some positive results, he was willing to keep working in that direction.  Many of these results took a long time to come to fruition and also took many different directions—some good and some bad.  I tried to be there when he needed me.  We had a lot of phone conversations and personal visits.  I tried to help get him some resources that I knew he needed for school but his family could not bear the burden of providing (laptops, and such).  I gave advice when I could but tried not to demand things of him.  If I could just tell him what I thought and let him make his own decisions, I felt like it might help him find a positive direction.  There were some difficult moments involving jobs, drinking, girls—basically the things that all youth go through.  But Tony successfully negotiated the tough spots and has ended up being a great role model for his two younger sisters. 

Tony earned and was awarded a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship.  He attained both undergraduate and graduate degrees from prestigious schools in New York City.  He has been working at a professional position in a company in Houston, Texas, for several years, and he has become a more mature and responsible citizen who has many friends.  I am privileged to be included in that group.  Tony has become a part of our family. When we traveled overseas in retirement Tony met us in Italy to travel together.  He also visited my daughter and her family when she was living and working in England.   

Tony is a very special young man who is still evolving and solving problems year-by-year and working on a plan for his future.  Will he marry?  Will he have a family?  I am sure he will achieve success, whatever he chooses to pursue. The course is not finalized yet, but, I think he is well prepared to make those decisions with a good set of core values, a good sense of right and wrong, and a good work ethic. 

 I am very proud to say that I had some small part in helping Tony become who he is today.

 

Dennis Block, mentor to Anthony “Tony” Esmurria
September 21, 2018

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