We wanted to acknowledge some great work that’s been done by one of our rising Peer Mentor stars. Onix Jimenez is a bright young man, with loads of dedication. He has been with us for some time now, after originally taking our Peer Mentor training at YAVP last summer. But, life happens, and Onix took some time to work on some stuff, but now he is back and better than ever! Having first first his shared his story at SuccessFest in March, he is now a regular on Team Nanner regularly presenting at Schools and Conferences!
I took the time to ask him a few questions; here’s what I got….
Q:You put a lot of hard work into writing your Comeback Story, and it really shows. What were some helpful things for you to write it?
A: At first the idea of writing my story was a bit overwhelming, I’ve experienced a lot, and I’ve comeback from a lot, so it was really difficult, pinning down what aspects of my life I wanted my story to be on. It took a while but I managed to look at the things that I’ve struggled with, and the events I’ve had the most growth from, and I used those to hopefully tell a story that shows strength.
Q:You recently had your first presentation at SuccessFest. How do you think it went?
A: I was nervous. I’ll admit I was a bit shaky at first. However, for being one of the few times I’ve publicly spoken, with an entire audience’s attention, I was pretty proud of myself for being able to do it.
Q: What would be a piece of advice you would give new Peer Mentors sharing their Comeback Story for the first time?
A: The bit of advice I would give is to know your story and own your story. When I first told my story I was nervous, regardless of what stage you are in, a comeback story is about personal struggle and about being able to turn it around. It was hard not to think, “Well, what if my story isn’t worthwhile”. However part of what helped was reminding myself, that I know this story, it’s mine and it’s worthwhile to know that I came back from this struggle, even if just for myself. And maybe, hopefully someone else will see what the benefits are of owning their story…because it’s theirs, it’s mine, and it’s ours. We all want to succeed.
Q:How did you hear about the NAN Project?
A: I was involved in the Youth Advisory Group and the Tempo young adult resource center through Wayside in Framingham when the training was recommended to me. I had wanted to be able to take steps towards becoming a peer mentor for a long time, and I wasn’t sure how, so this was my first real step.
Q: You work an awful lot…. What are some things you do for self-care?
A: Between my other job and NAN, I had a lot going on, and at times it was stressful. I would spend some time with my friends and spend some time alone. However, I ultimately had to make the decision to leave (old job), as I had to acknowledge I had my limits. A huge part of self-care, is knowing those limits, and being able to push yourself to de better but also knowing when it’s time to recognize I’m stressing those limits too far
Q:If you had to use one word to describe your feelings towards the NAN Project, what would it be and why?
Thank you Onix for sharing with us and all your amazing work with The NAN Project!