Angels Camp, CA…The Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program is proud to recognize Angels Camp resident Tim Cody as the November Mentor of the Month. Tim has been matched with his 16-year-old mentee Conner for a year and a half, and the two have built an incredible friendship and discovered common interests along the way.
Tim Cody (L) and Conner Bottomley (R)
“Tim is an extraordinarily principled man,” said Colleen Nunn, coordinator of mentoring programs at the Calaveras County Office of Education. “He is kind, consistent, dedicated, and an excellent role model. It is for these reasons that we have chosen to honor him.”
Tim retired in 2000 from an exciting career as a computer systems analyst at Sandia National Laboratory in Livermore. All of his life he wanted to volunteer. With more time on his hands in retirement, he decided it was time to give back to the community.
One of Tim’s favorite authors, Bob Goff, motivate him to volunteer as a mentor in the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program. “When I read the phrase, ‘Love does,’ I was inspired to apply this message to various aspects of my life,” said Tim. “I quieted the voice in my head that was telling me all the reasons why I couldn’t, and I walked through the door of the Calaveras County Office of Education and signed up to be a mentor.”
“There is a three-generation gap between me and Conner,” said Tim. “But our age difference has been an asset in our friendship. Although we have little in common, we learn a lot from each other. We enjoy tackling automotive projects together, like refurbishing my Willys Overland Jeep that I bought after WWII. Conner gets to relate this experience to the auto shop class he takes at school.”
Conner has a great deal of respect for Tim as well. “He is so fascinating,” said Conner. “He always keeps himself busy and has been a great hands-on mentor to me. He has taught me a lot about mechanics. We actually got my dirt bike running again!”
The Mentoring Program is just one of Tim’s volunteer activities. He is active in his church, has done missionary work at the Calaveras County Jail, he volunteers with service dogs at Silver Paw Ranch, he is active in a local amateur radio club, and he volunteers as a yard duty at a local elementary school. He and Conner have volunteered together at Silver Paw Ranch building agility courses for service dogs.
Tim and Conner recently decided to continue their match in the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program for a second year. They each spoke separately with the mentoring program coordinator. Tim said, “My favorite moment was when Colleen told us we both shared the same insight about our friendship: that we enjoyed each other’s company even more than the projects we work on together.”
“Being a part of Conner’s life brings meaning to my own life. It has been a gift knowing that his future will be brighter because of us knowing each other; and so will mine!” said Tim. “I have a different outlook on kids now; Conner has shown me that they are all people, just like me.”
Tim encourages others in the community to step forward and volunteer. “Over the course of my life, I have learned that people as individuals don’t really matter. What matters is what we all leave behind. Stop thinking of all the reasons why you can’t; just do it.”
The Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program currently has a long list of young people waiting to be matched with mentors. This includes a 12-year-old boy in San Andreas who, like Conner, enjoys anything with a motor. Another 11-year-old boy in Murphys who wants to be matched with a mentor enjoys watersports, computers, and Kung Fu. For more information about the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program, call Colleen Nunn at (209) 736-6078 or visit the program online at www.calaverasmentoring.org.