An Experience I Did Not Expect.

I originally became connected with Children’s Restoration Network in order to meet a requirement for a course I was taking at Kennesaw State University. Although the organization offers many ways to get plugged in, I became a mentor and tutor at the Cherokee Family Violence Center. I was not planning on being involved long-term; however, the experience I have had and the relationships that I have created with my student, the employees at CFVC, and the other mentors have given me more than one reason to continue my volunteering.

As cliché as it may sound, the time I have spent with CFVC has likely been more of an encouragement to me than to the children I meet with every week. Their bright smiles and enthusiastic attitudes keep me looking forward to Monday nights each week. Having the opportunity to be a small source of stability in these children’s lives is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I consider it a privilege to pour into their lives, offer friendship, and provide counsel to the students.

My favorite part of my experience has been working regularly with the same student and watching her advance academically and socially. She is preschool-aged and loves working on crafts. Her entire face lights up when we finish with her homework early and are able to draw, build with blocks, or use glue and scissors. She often gives me the crafts she creates. Although it is a small gesture from her to me, it reassures me that I am making a positive impact in her life.

I am very thankful to Children’s Restoration Network and the Cherokee Family Violence Center for giving me the opportunity to invest in these children’s lives as well as experiences that I will never forget.

-Ashley Patton


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