15 Aug Giving Kids Experiences Through Mentorship
This week I was privileged to give Alamo Heights High School student Matthew Rendon an inside, close and personal look at what I do as a foot and ankle surgeon. I’ve done this for a while, now, hosting high school students who are interested in pursuing a career in the medical field, and it never ceases to amaze me at how wonderfully intelligent, curious, driven, compassionate and committed these young men and women are. It gives me great hope in our future generations of doctors and medical professionals, and I’m honored to play at least a small role in encouraging these students’ to follow their dreams – no matter what.
As a father of four beautiful children, I’ve always held the belief that life experiences are just as (if not more so!) important as traditional academic learning. That’s why long ago, even before becoming a father, I knew I wanted to mentor kids – show them experiences – and not just in the medical profession. I wanted to give kids the positive experiences my mentors gave to me, making me want to give back. So, through volunteering, church, community involvement, and of course, giving them as much encouragement and opportunities as I can through mentoring has always been a priority.
Now, on the other side of the coin, I learn from these kids, too – like, A LOT. Every young adult I’ve mentored seems to mentor me, too. Yes, I understand it’s a bit odd to be “mentored” by someone much younger than you, but I’ve come to really appreciate how much I learn from today’s generation of future leaders. Their empathy, their kindness, their compassion – and then they have this incredible, altruistic drive on top of that – it is a constant reminder to me that every day is a gift and everyone is a gift, and that is a priceless lesson.
So, even if Matthew and other students find the medical profession isn’t for them, I’m happy I’m able to offer them the experience and even happier that they want to be a part of it. They get to witness first hand how much I LOVE what I do. And when it comes down to it, if I can help these kids find what they’re passionate about and love what they do, I’m a very happy guy.
Thank you to ALL of the young men and women who have allowed me into their lives – I hope I’ve made as much as an impact as you have on me.