November’s Mentor Spotlight highlights Sam Conchuratt. Sam works for the Senate Finance Committee as the assistant to the Democratic staff director. While at work, Sam learned of Everybody Wins’ Power Lunch Program from a colleague who was currently in the program.

Eager to step outside of his political bubble for an hour a week to work with kids, Sam signed up without hesitation. Five years later, Sam continues to serve as a Power Lunch Reading Mentor, impacting the lives of his young mentees each and every week.

“I had no idea what to expect when I signed up for the program. I had never interacted with kids in that capacity before. Many thoughts crossed my mind before the first day started.

One of my fondest memories from the program was being matched with Declan, a jovial baseball fanatic whom I spent a few years mentoring. We often would start our sessions with talks about each week’s games; he was really into the sport, as was I. [He was] my sports buddy.

When Declan aged out of the program, having appreciated the time spent, he excitedly suggested that I read to his much younger sibling, Peyton. I appreciated the sentiment and began reading with her earlier this school year. Unlike the sports-loving Declan, Peyton and I shared a love of dogs. Peyton particularly loves pugs, which didn’t go unnoticed; she even carries a pug lunchbox.

EWDC’s Power Lunch Program allows me to share stories I read as a kid and impart life lessons from my own experience. There were some books that I didn’t finish reading as a kid, so it’s great to know how those stories end.

People should get involved because it’s fun hanging out with kids and talking about what makes them happy. Reading with my partners over the years has even sparked my interest in reading. So, Everybody Wins!