I was really looking forward to this one, but I was prompted to do it today because I was watching a segment on TV where people came forward and thanked their mentors for the positive impact on their lives. I was surprised to see that many of the mentors and role models had NO idea that they had had such an impact. So, I decided to at least make it known to one of my biggest ‘mentors’ from high school.
Here’s the letter to her. I haven’t heard back yet, but will update when I do. Some identifiable details like school names have been removed in case she doesn’t want this to be found when people google her. 😉
Hi Mrs. Arce,
I don’t know if you’ll even remember me, but I was a student of yours (French and AP English) from 2003 to 2007. Ami [Last Name Removed]. This may be totally out of the blue, but I recently watched a segment on TV about people contacting their mentors and expressing their gratitude for the positive and meaningful impact the mentor had on their life. I realized that, all too often, people never realize the way they’ve changed the lives of others. So, I wanted to take a moment and write to you to say that you were one of those people for me.
I was going through a very difficult time in high school. My dad passed away just 2 months after I started my freshman year, and I acted out in a lot of different ways, none of which made me a favorite with many of my teachers. I took up a place with the “goth kids,” my grades suffered pretty badly, and despite still being a pretty happy and optimistic person my attitude didn’t always match. However, I do remember that in your classes, especially in my upperclassmen years when I was taking your AP English classes that you never treated me like I was fragile or in need of help. You were one of the few teachers who continued to see that I was strong and intelligent and pushed me to be a better student and do better work. I remember that getting a ‘9’ on an AP essay was one of my proudest achievements because I knew that you didn’t give those away; it really had to be earned.
I left [high school] feeling proud and capable of what I could do. I was accepted into [college] with the help of a glowing recommendation letter that you wrote for me. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Graphic Design and I’m now the Lead Designer/Developer and a web strategy company here in Austin.
When I think back to that huge turning point in my life when I lost my dad and how I recovered and and continued on to become who I am today, you were a major player in it. Out of the many adults and teachers in my life at the time, you were one of the few that managed to understand but push me forward at the same time and I continue to be grateful for that.
I hope you are doing well and would love to hear how you are doing and how it’s going at [school]. 🙂 Thank you again.
All my best,
By the way, Mrs. Arce was one my my biggest influencers in high school but I do have to say that I had many many more that inspired me, pushed me, and sparked interests in me that became life long passions. Teachers, in every shape and form, are a true gift to every person whose life they touch. Thanks teachers.
Also, on a totally separate note, I just made my appointment to design my arm tattoo for Resolution #1! I’m so excited. I’ve been toying with the idea of an all white tattoo, but I haven’t quite decided yet. Either way it’ll be a tattoo of my two totem animals, the deer and the wolf. Can’t wait!