I’ve been bamboozled. My organization blindfolded me and spun me around like a piñata before selling me a dream of my current position of “mentor.” That is indeed my job title but you tell me. Does a “mentor” walk into filthy practically neglected homes?
Does a “mentor” instruct a child to get off the computer/do the activity/
come to the center repeatedly at a daily rate? What say you, Pepitas? Am I a mentor or a caseworker?
My day consists of doing school check ins, data entry, home visits, drop offs, and coercing students to come in to the center that I work for. If you look closely at the day to day of a caseworker, it is identical to my work day. If you look even closer, you will see our dwindling bank accounts also match.
I never thought I’d be a caseworker. When in college, I wondered how sociology majors wrote essays about the welfare system and studied up on child sevices. Working in this capacity was never a dream. Shit, for me it’s one of the most unappealing positions a person could hold. Now, here I am. Sujeiry Gonzalez, Caseworker. The title might be “mentor” but I am fully aware of my role with these children and parents. I am a hand holder for those who don’t care or don’t know how to do and be better. I am a parent figure to schools who get no response from the parents of the troubled child. Lastly, I am the fed up, indifferent “mentor” who is terrified of the neighborhoods she frequents (the Subway Restaurant three blocks from my job was held up at gunpoint last week).
I am Sujeiry Gonzalez. A woman who has bigger dreams and is counting the days when she returns to safety and the role of “full time artist”.