If you ask Evan Patterson what the secret keys are to unlock success in one’s life, his answer every time is life skills. Evan explains there is an art to shaking someone’s hand, being on time, and asking questions when you don’t know the answers. He says it’s these little things that add up to a big impact on how successfully a person navigates through life.
As a mentor for the Take Stock in Children Hillsborough Program, Evan is teaching these life skills to his mentee, Mike Goicoechea. With Evan’s support and guidance, Mike has mastered how to be self -confident and push through difficult situations at school.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Evan relocated to Tampa, Florida in 2013. Evan, his wife, and two young boys quickly were welcomed into the Tampa Bay community. Inspired by the warmth and support of his own community toward his family, Evan decided to find a way to give back and volunteer. He signed up to be a Take Stock in Children mentor after he heard about the program from one of his colleagues.
He knew firsthand the power of mentoring from a former colleague who mentored Evan through his first years living in New York and learning the finance industry.
Evan said he felt immediately connected with Michael. They had been paired up with the Take Stock in Children Hillsborough Program based on similar interests and hobbies. Both love hip hop music and baseball, though different teams.
During their 30-minute mentoring sessions, Michael and Evan talk about academics and the future. They also talk about choices and tough decisions. Evan says just letting Mike know that everyone has ups and downs during their teenage years has helped him overcome obstacles.
Michael isn’t the only one gaining something from this friendship. Evan has gained a sense of fulfillment.
Evan says he feels like he’s cheating karma – his reward of mentoring has been so impactful in his own life and a lot of fun. He recommends everyone take an hour each week and change a life.