Angels Camp, CA…The Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program is honoring Murphys resident Dr. Rhoda Nussbaum as its December 2016 Mentor of the Month. Rhoda has been matched with her nine-year-old mentee, Makayla Copeland, for a year; their time together is something Makayla consistently looks forward to each week.
“Rhoda is an extraordinary mentor,” said Colleen Nunn, Coordinator of Mentoring Programs at the Calaveras County Office of Education. “She authentically loves Makayla and deeply respects Makayla’s family. Rhoda is a pillar of strength in our community and we are honored to have her as a volunteer in our program.”
“I feel privileged to be a part of the Mentoring Program because it allows me the opportunity to stop being an adult for a while and feel what it is to be a child again,” said Rhoda. “I really enjoy being a support for Makayla and her family.”
“Rhoda is nothing but positive to our whole family,” said Jacque Copeland, Makayla’s aunt. “It has been a blessing; she is supportive to all of us. We know we have a friend for life.”
Makayla values her time with Rhoda, saying, “she is really nice, I really like hanging out with her. We love to ride our bikes together, paint, and work in her garden.” With Rhoda’s help, Makayla has developed the confidence to try new things and go beyond her comfort zone.
Rhoda has supported many volunteer organizations throughout her life. “It’s always been important to me to be doing service,” Rhoda said. During her career as a physician, she worked with a women’s clinic in San Francisco and traveled to India for many years to assist with a cervical cancer prevention program.
Rhoda enjoys volunteering with the Mentoring Program alongside her husband, John Adams, who is also a mentor in the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program. They often take their mentees on outings together.
“Before we joined the Mentoring Program we worried that we wouldn’t have enough time or creativity to come up with fun things to do with a young person. That fear quickly went away after spending time with our mentees. Ultimately, Makayla gets to choose what we do together,” Rhoda said. “It feels so
good! I’ve gained a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment from this work.”
“John and I are so impressed with the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program,” said Rhoda. “It is one of the finest nonprofit organizations that we have ever worked with. It is run very well with such integrity. The overriding focus is their support and appreciation for their volunteers.”
The Mentoring Program is always seeking volunteers, and particularly needs mentors for boys in the Angels Camp and Murphys areas. There are many ways to support the Mentoring Program aside from being a mentor: help coordinate fieldtrips, support fundraising efforts, or help with publicity. For more information about the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program, call Colleen Nunn, Mentoring Program Coordinator, at (209) 736-6078 or visit us online at www.calaverasmentoring.org.