Corinne Swan and Shannon Graeber were matched on February 12, 1998. Their match was dissolved on June 10, 2010 after Shannon graduated from high school, but that did not stop these two from being life long friends…
This story begins in 1998. I was in kindergarten at St. Mary’s school when the Kinship Program started, when I was growing up as an only child with a single father. Around this time, Mrs. Swan joined the Kinship Program as a mentor. Our match was a little different from most, because I was not registered in the program at the time. When Patti asked Mrs. Swan if there was a child in mind she wanted to mentor, she asked for me. This had to be discussed with my dad, to which he agreed, and upon meeting Mrs. Swan he expressed, “I hear you want to love my daughter.”
After that, Mrs. Swan would pick me up every Wednesday after school and take me to her house. I would do homework before dinner, which was always homemade and delicious.. This was usually followed by relaxing in the hot tub watching the Game Show Network. We would play pool, bake, or work on a puzzle. Summers were always full of gardening. We would attend all the Kinship events together and celebrate holidays with Easter egg hunts and make Christmas treats.
When I transferred to public middle school, the bus would drop me off at Mrs. Swan’s every Wednesday.
Once I got my driver’s license, I drove myself to her house, still every Wednesday.
The Kinship Program ends when you graduate from high school, meaning no more events with the program. Some matches lose touch, but some keep going strong. 25 years after first meeting, we still find time to get together, usually going out to eat or having a home-cooked meal for my birthday. We are both thankful to have found each other through Kinship, and would encourage anyone thinking about mentoring to jump on in.
Testimonial submitted January of 2023.