|Andrew getting ready to facilitate a fun filled Kapatid Program session|
Mentorship has always been one of the key pillars of ANAK as an organization. From the beginning, the purpose of ANAK’s Kapatid Program has been to assist Filipino youth academically, socially, and culturally in Canadian society. I was introduced to the program in 2007, when I joined in as a volunteer mentor. I then got more involved by becoming an ANAK member, and helped run the program with the mentorship committee. Even though I was already working full-time as a gas-turbine mechanic, I found a way to fit the Kapatid Program into my schedule.
I loved every minute of it; from homework help, to preparing workshops, organizing group activities, or just letting loose and getting to reconnect culturally with my own heritage. Collaborating ideas with fellow mentors and connecting with the mentees also helped me gain valuable skills that were transferable outside of the program. The community involvement, the newly developed skill set, and the rewarding experiences that I gained in the program made me realize that I wanted to become a teacher; an Industrial-Arts teacher in particular. This allowed me to include my previous hands-on experiences as a mechanic into the classroom.