One of my college mentors, Richard Lou. Helped me transition from the death of my previous mentor and gave me a foundation to genuinely appreciate my new mentor after the Universe presented him with a new lease in life.
My former mentor Mr. Harold Jenkins was the epitome of a leader. He provided unending and genuine love and support and did all within his power to make me feel at home at GCSU.
Unfortunately, in the short time that we knew each other his powerful life had came to an end. I did not feel comfortable accepting his death, as I do not always handle the matter of passing very well. My emotions are normally unattached and distant. The SOAR mentor program I participated in introduced me to Richard as a mentor and from there the rest was an organic development of awesomeness. He truly showed me empathy and gave me his strength in order to help me as I transitioned into adulthood.
Richard normally wears his hair in a faded top and long ponytail in the back, where as I would normally wear wigs or ponytails. In this piece I took Richard's hair and gave him mine (Richard has a full head of hair!). Whenever we would meet I felt like he truly was aware of my heart and gave me his strength to help me understand the advise he had to share. To date I still am very grateful for his guidance, advise, and support. My new mentor Ms. Valerie Aranda, helped me understand the importance of creating art and using that passion for good and strengthening the community. Mr. Jenkins showed me how to focus my energy on receiving love instead of solely giving: which can leave one feeling empty and susceptible to pain. Reciprocity is OK. When Mr. Jenkins passed I did not know how to take what he taught me and make the most of it. When Ms. Aranda would share her time with me at times I struggled being present and recognizing the significance of her support.
Reflecting on my time with and lessons from Richard helped me to honor the guidance I received from Mr. Jenkins and the motivation and support from Ms. Aranda. This piece celebrates the awesomeness of Richard - The Mentor.