“Sharing My Story” By: Jatto Obanor

Over the summer we invited our PYD fellows to participate in sharing their stories on our blog about their participation in our mentor match program. We asked them to tell us a bit about themselves, who their mentor is, and their favorite memories with their mentor. The following essay was written by Jatto Obanor who has graciously offered to share his story with our community.


Sharing My Story

By: Jatto Obanor

Our 2014 Youth Fellows, including Jatto!Hello my name is Jatto. I was born on 10/29/92 at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, MA. I am the oldest child and have one sibling. I am 21 years old and live in Cambridge, MA with my mom and brother. My mom was born in Jamaica, W.I. and my dad is from Nigeria, West Africa. My name Jatto means spiritually led in the Nigerian custom. I am fearlessly and wonderfully made by God.

I enjoy playing video games, bowling, and am a great movie critic. My area of expertise in the movies are horror, comedy, action, and ANIME. My hobbies are travelling, listening to music, and I am an avid rock collector. My favorite passtime is relaxing with the family, going on road trips as well as hanging out with friends (Mentor) on the weekends.

My mentor’s name is Joel Wald. He lives in Allston, MA. He has been my mentor for 1 year and 4 months. I met Joel in the month of April 2013. Joel is a very nice individual with a kind heart. He is patient and fun to be around. I can talk to him freely without judgement. He is a great problem solver, very supportive, and a positive role model! He is over 30 years old, was born in January, and is very responsible. I can look up to him and more important I can count on him. Joel has a silly side to him which makes our time together crazy and fun. Although I am African American and he is Caucasian, “we see no color.” I consider Joel to be not only a mentor but can call him my friend.

My favorite match memory so far are two things. The first is going to his home and seeing his apartment. We made brunch together at his apartment. I met his roommate then we watched a television show on Cartoon Network. I really had a great time that day. I also got to know him better by spending time cooking and eating.

My second memory was extra-exciting because Joel invited me out to dinner and I got to meet his parents. He also attended my High School graduation celebratory party this June 2014 and shared in my special day of passing the MCAS and graduating.

What I have learned from Joel is that you don’t have to be family to feel like family. Patience and compassion are gifts and not everyone has those abilities. I have gained a friend and also I have gained confidence to be in large crowds in public. I strive everyday to be like Joel independent, kind, and giving.

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