KENNEWICK, Wash.- NBC Right Now is teaming up with the Ignite Youth Mentoring Program to celebrate National Mentor month.
The Ignite Program works to match mentors with kids to become positive role models and to ignite a personal commitment to growth and learning.
Krista Smith moved to the Tri-Cities from Michigan and heard about the Ignite program.
After joining the program as a mentor, Smith waited a couple of months to be matched up with 13-year-old Anika Walker.
The duo was uniquely paired based on their mutual interests.
"We are usually silly and have a lot of fun together. Ignite does a really good job of matching mentors with kids that are well suited for the mentor," said Smith.
"She's funny. She's kind and gentle. She has a nice sense of humor," said Walker of her mentor.
A year and a half later, it's that sense of humor that teases Anika about checking out the entire library. Smith said she was just like that when she was Walker's age. She loved reading and said Walker inspires her to read more.
However, when they're spending time at the library together, Smith said there's only one rule for Walker, "If it's too many to carry, it's too many to check out," said Walker.
They also enjoy sharing riddles with one another. For example, what can go through the green glass door? "You can take a book, but not a magazine. Yeah we can't go through the green glass door," said Smith.
"Anika is all the time exactly who Anika is and I love that about her. It's really just a cool thing to see in a person and I feel like adults lose that and she brings that out in me. I remember that it's ok to be one-hundred percent who I am and that's what she is all the time, said Smith.
"You can say we're perfectly matched," said Walker.
"If it were just a matter of having an adult in a kids life, there wouldn't be that connection. There wouldn't be a reason that you would want to hang out," said Smith.
If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, Ignite is always looking for mentors and kids between 8 and 16 years-old to join in their mission. To igniting hope, one child at a time.
For more on how to get involved...Call the Ignite Youth Mentoring Program at (509) 948-3143