“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” ~Angela Schwindt
Mentorship happens all over Santa Fe. Many people think that engaging in a mentor role will solely benefit the mentee. However, learning is a two-way street in mentoring relationships between youth and their mentors.
At Monte del Sol Charter School each student has the opportunity to engage in two mentorships before they graduate. Giselle and Judy, director and assistant director of the Mentorship Program, work with 150 students each year to ask about their interests and find a mentor in the community who will explore their passions with them. The pair design a project together which is shared in the spring at a three-day Festival of Learning.
One such student, Miguel, is working with Bob Witsenhausen. Miguel and three fellow students are all engaging in a Mentorship with Bob to play and record Sierreño, a cord-heavy and difficult sub-group of ‘Norteno’ music (from the northern part of Mexico).
Miguel says that, “thanks to this mentorship I have realized what I want in my future because what Bob does is something so amazing. It takes a lot of effort to just record a song and I feel like I have that same passion for music as Bob does.” Miguel has found it to be an inspiring experience to go through the process of recording their own song. He says that it, “feels good when that song is done —after all the hard work, it has finally paid off.”
Despite his extensive repertoire and the multiple musicians he has worked with over the years, this musical genre was a first for Bob. He learned Sierreño while mentoring Miguel and his peers in recording and production. Miguel said, “I was glad that we were the first ones sharing our music with him and introducing him to Sierreño.”