By Tina Ngo, AALEAD Staff
Photos Courtesy of Tina Ngo, AALEAD Staff
This past weekend, eight AALEAD mentoring pairs joined us for a wonderful day filled with ice skating, fun, and friendship at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink! It was a gorgeous day to be outside, and mentors and mentees were all smiles as they laced up their skates and enjoyed a beautiful day on the ice.
Since mentoring pairs across the DC Metro area were invited and some mentors and mentees were meeting each other for the first time, we kicked off the event with an interactive ice breaker. Mentors and mentees were each given a set of six questions and asked to get to know as many people as they could. Lots of laughter and conversation could be heard across the rink as youth and mentors learned more about one another and created new friendships along the way.
It was finally time for our mentors and mentees to make their rounds around the rink! Some mentors and mentees showed off their skills and glided gracefully across the ice, while other pairs held on tightly to each other’s hands. Though it was the first time some of our mentees had ever gone ice skating, they all made so much progress over the course of our session! By the end of the event, all mentees were able to skate on their own, and a few of them were even able to skate backwards and do cool spins and twirls, too!
AALEAD’s Mentoring Ice Skating is an annual event that our pairs and staff look forward to year after year. Aside from simply enjoying one another’s company and sharing fun moments together, pairs have the opportunity to continue building community while also being present for some of the mentees’ first “steps” – literally and figuratively. Ice skating truly highlights what it means to be in a mentorship – mentors are not only there when their mentees fall, but most importantly, they’re oftentimes the first to help pick them up.