Noah Bentley is the director of a software company in El Dorado Hills and a Big Brother of the Year. He and his little brother Trevor Cazares have been matched for three years and for Bentley it’s been more in every way than he expected.
“I thought I would do a few things with a kid weekly and live up to my committment,” said Bentley. “I didn’t expect to become as close to the kid as Trevor and I have become or to get involved in his life or that he would become as important to my life.”
Bentley, 44, and Trevor, 16, meet about twice a week and call or text each other about three times a week. Bentley attends Trevor’s sports events and the two do a variety of activities, including sky diving in a wind tunnel.
They share a lot of interests, opinions and common customs. Both lost their father at an early age and Bentley said he sees something of himself in Trevor. He recently helped teach Trevor to drive and get practice behind the wheel.
“I think I’ve learned as much or more than Trevor has,” said Bentley. “He sees that I have insights he doesn’t yet have and he’s willing to listen and talk to me about decisions he’s making. I can’t imagine that we won’t always have some sort of connection.”
One of the keys to this successful match is proximity said Bentley. “I work two miles from Trevor’s home and three miles from his school and live six miles from his house, so it’s easy to get together or to take advantage of spur of the moment opportunities.”
Besides mentoring, Bentley is the single father of 13-year-old Nathan. He enjoys donating to the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and helping with fundraising events. He also volunteers to help with the annual Christmas shopping trip at Target. “It’s my favorite event; I’ve even pulled other people into helping,” Bentley said.
“There are people all around us who can benefit from us and we just don’t always know how to make the connection,” he continued. “Big Brothers Big Sisters is great at building bridges for those connections. It’s fun and a whole different level of engagement with people.”
His advice for those thinking about mentoring? “Stop thinking about it — just step up and do it. It’s not as complicated as you think and you have no clue how much you have to offer these children until you start.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters needs more men to mentor boys. There are currently about 30 boys waiting for mentors in El Dorado County. To find out more information, call (530) 626-1222 or visit the Website at www.mentors4youth.org.