Inspirational Stories – Assistant Fire Chief Benefits from Mentor

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog?

Have you had a chance to touch base with that teen in your life yet? Maybe check in with them and ask them if they could be anything, what would they be?

January’s Theme – National Mentoring Month

According to, National Mentoring Month is based on a movement to raise awareness about the power of relationships and how they can help young people succeed.

Like I talked about in my November post about Making Choices, Teen Resource – Other people teens can talk to about tough choices, mentors are people who have real world experience in something your teen may have an interest in pursuing. A mentor may be able to give your teen some advice or help them get there.

In November I launched a Mentor page on my website dedicated to this topic. On this page, I include some mentoring themed information related to my chosen monthly blog theme. Here is a link to that page. Selma P. Verde – Mentor Page.

Another type of mentoring

Last week I talked about how to find a mentor in my teen challenges post Teen Challenge – How Do I Find a Mentor. When I was in school I didn’t know how to find a mentor or that there were adults out there willing to help me and all I needed to do was ask.

In another type of mentoring, the mentor comes to us. Sometimes the people who are in our lives see our potential and come across opportunities they feel would be good for us to pursue. Then they make a point of mentioning them to us to consider. That’s what happened to a retiring assistant fire chief in Duluth Minnesota.

His neighbor had an idea for him

As I was reading the news on Minnesota Public Radio News ( I found an inspiring story written by by Dan Kraker about the retirement of an Assistant Fire Chief after nearly twenty-six years of service. Here’s a link to the full article Assistant Fire Chief Retires.

Clint Reff grew up in Duluth. A black firefighter named Ernie Butler also lived in his neighborhood. Ernie talked to Clint multiple times about getting involved in the fire department. As Clint grew up and was doing other things, Ernie would continue to mention what a good opportunity the fire department would be for Clint. When Clint was laid off from the local foundry, he happened to see Ernie again and then decided to pursue the opportunity.

“If they can do it, I can do it.”

Clint was able to see Ernie going to work as a fire fighter everyday. Even though he didn’t actually pursue it right away, the idea to do it was seen as he watched Ernie doing it.

To think what we want to do is even possible we may need to see it being done. Role Models can be the ones that provide the idea. Teachers and schools will bring in speakers as role models to give us ideas of opportunities to pursue. Ernie wound up being that person for Clint and they both are role models for other young people now.

Reach out to those people and ask questions. They may be willing to share their story with you and help you get there. Clint and Ernie are not only great role models for becoming a firefighter, but are also inspiring for people of color. If they can do it, you can do it.

You can make it happen too!

Is there something you have always wanted to be? Something you have always wanted to do? Why not start looking into how to do it? Find someone who is doing it and ask them how they did it? Find a mentor that can help you?

Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service

Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by continuing his fight for a just and equitable world. By building relationships and communities where people feel heard and valued. #MentoringAmplifies belonging and respect for all people.

In the theme of giving back to your community, maybe you can help someone do something they want to do or give some time to an organization that needs help with a project they are trying to do.

Have you heard of The Way Series?

The Way Series is my two book coming of age series for teens and young adults. The first book, The Hard Way has a theme of peer pressure and its consequences when choices are made. And the second book, Shawn’s Way, is the story about a high school freshman navigating his school experience as the target of a bully.

Interested in learning more? Follow the link to the books tab for or information and a way for you to get your own copies. Selma P. Verde – Books

Have a great week!

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