Jocelyn Mojica - Student bonds with youth she mentors

April 19, 2006|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

HALFWAY - Facing the demands of school and work, young mentors such as Jocelyn Mojica don't come around very often.

"It's not unusual for young people to get interested in the program, but they usually have difficulty following through," said Crystal Davis, casework supervisor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County Maryland.

Mojica, 21, of Halfway, is a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters. She has formed a strong bond with the youngster she mentors, a 9-year-old girl who attends Pangborn Elementary School.

Mentors are in high demand in Washington County. There are 45 children matched with mentors in the Big Brothers Big Sisters community-based mentoring program. But there are 20 children who still are waiting for mentors, Davis said.


Mojica and her little buddy both dance, they are both into cheerleading and they're both considerably outgoing, Mojica said.

"They're really like sisters," Davis said. "They even look alike, a little."

Her mother, Isolina Mojica, has taken notice of her daughter's bond with her little "sister."

"She's going to make a really good mother because she's more patient than I am," her mother said. "She has that special gift. She knows what to say. I'm very proud of her as a mother."

Isolina Mojica said her daughter has always had a giving spirit. She recalled one Christmas morning, when Mojica pulled her out of bed to help serve pancakes and pass out gifts at Williamsport Retirement Village, where Mojica often had visited.

"I wasn't feeling well that day," her mother said. But it still worked out.

"That was a rewarding experience," her mother said. "To give up your Christmas morning? That's awesome. We went home on a natural high."

Mojica is about to complete her associate degree in psychology at Hagerstown Community College. As she prepares for the next step, going to a four-year school, Mojica said she's going to have to adjust to being so far away from her friend.

"I'll miss seeing her," Mojica said. "I'll miss going to her school because I've also developed a relationship with the kids at her school."

Mojica said she still will be able to see her little buddy on the weekends, but she will not have a chance to visit her at her school throughout the week.

"I'll still be there, just not as much as I would like to be," Mojica said. "Even if it's just an hour or two."

"She's taught me just how to love more," she said. "Life's so short. So if you can make a difference that day, you're fulfilled."

Volunteers agree to spend anywhere from one to five hours a week with the children, Davis said. Big Brothers Big Sisters pairs at-risk youths with mentors in the community.

Mojica said that after she graduates, she wouldn't mind working as a guidance counselor, helping other children who are labeled "at-risk."

"Kids are just my passion," Mojica said. "I can see the development, it's amazing. (At-risk) kids need it the most. Most of them are overlooked."

Cutline: By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

Jocelyn Mojica, a student at Hagerstown Community College, volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters.


Name - Jocelyn Mojica

Date of birth - Nov. 10, 1984

Address - Halfway

Occupation - Student

Most notable achievement - Probably my volunteer work.

Your proudest moment - Probably being matched up with my little sister because my match manager said, "She's so much like you. You guys are so much alike." Then, when I met her, I was like, wow, we are so much alike.

Who is the person you most admire and why? - The person I most admire is no longer living, my grandmother. She was just such an inspiration. She also loved kids. She had such an open heart. She's still my inspiration to this day. She always will be.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Who gave it to you? - Probably my mom, saying just be who you are and never settle for anything.

What is the next goal you would like to achieve? - Getting my degree and working with kids.

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