PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Thursday, Anna Tramutolo, a marketing coordinator for the Suns, was told she had a meeting to attend.
Instead, her 12-year-old mentee Angelica surprised her by waiting in the plaza outside of Talking Stick Arena with balloons, a banner, thank you note and hug.
Angelica lives with her siblings in extreme poverty in downtown Phoenix with their single mother and has been experiencing issues in school.
Tramutolo has been meeting with Angelica twice a month for the last 10 months after they were connected through New Pathways for Youth.
When Tramutolo first started mentoring her Angelica was standoffish, but now the two of them talk, play volleyball, do art projects and work on homework together.
“Anna means the whole world to me,” Angelica said. “She always has a smile on her face, She’s positive all the time.”
But the mentorship does not just bring benefits to the mentee.
“I think the biggest thing for the both of us is we’ve got a lot more comfortable with each other, especially recently – opening up, just feeling comfortable to tell each other about our lives and what’s going on,” Tramutolo shared.
“I think that’s just an important thing for everyone to learn to do, to be vulnerable and comfortable with each other and ask for help when you need it and let people in your lives so you can grow.”
Angelica decided to surprise Tramutolo as part of the month-long National Thank Your Mentor movement.