Mentors making a difference at Kids Can

Mentors making a difference
Posted at 6:53 AM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 07:53:23-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - — Mentors across the metro are celebrating national mentoring month.

"This relationship is something worth having in my life," Mentor Patrick Dougherty said. "It will make you view your community differently in a positive way."

For Kids Can mentor Patrick Dougherty, mentoring is the gift that keeps on giving.

"You learn a lot," he said. "How to become a really good listener when you have a mentee, and it's funny because you think you have everything figured out and they really teach you a lot about yourself."

During the week, Patrick mentors at Kids Can, a childcare and mentoring facility in South Omaha.

He mentors 10-year-old Henry Samayoa, a 5th-grader at Ashland Park Robbins Elementary.

The two often talk and play games together

"He's imaginative, he's a lot of fun, he sees the positive side in things," Doughtery said. "That's really contagious [and] makes you see the bright side of life a lot."

At Kids Can, mentors must commit to at least a year of mentoring.

CEO Robert Patterson says the time commitment makes a difference.

"We know that's a lot of time to give every week, every month but the impact that makes on a child is beyond anything we can give back," he said.

Patrick has gone beyond that first year, mentoring Henry since 2016.

He's watched him grow up.

"That bond that you have that you don't have in any other way, it's not the same as a teacher or a parent ," Patterson said. "It means a lot to Henry to have that other adult looking out for them, not judging them, but being a friend to them and that's what makes a difference."

So, whether it's playing a game of Monopoly, or helping Henry with homework, Patrick's there for him.

For Henry, the most special aspect of having a mentor is, "his friendship."

You can find out more information about how to become a mentor through Kids Can by visiting

You can also learn more about mentoring programs across the state at