Volunteer Spotlight: Jeani Barchalk
For our last National Volunteer Month spotlight, we hear from OnTrack Greenville mentor Jeani Barchalk. Learn more about Jeani’s service as a mentor and what this experience has taught her about Greenville County students:
How long have you been mentoring through United Way and OnTrack Greenville?
I learned of the opportunity late in the year of 2020 and received my first volunteer assignment in February of 2021.
What inspired you to become a mentor?
The pandemic brought with it many challenges, including asking our young people to adapt to a virtual education system, creating a void of social activity and exposure to adult role models that I felt I could help fill.
How has your experience through OnTrack Greenville changed the way you think about our schools and our students?
This experience has deepened my appreciation for the strength and fortitude of our young adults, and how they navigate the pressures to excel and achieve in a world that is not always receptive.
What would you tell someone who’s interested in becoming a mentor?
Mentoring is developing a relationship with an individual, and being a good listener. It is not about having all the answers; it’s more about just being there for someone as a real life example.
What does volunteerism mean to you?
Volunteering enables me to connect to our community and help to make a difference in someone’s life.