Every other month, we shine the spotlight on a new Mountain Mentor who's making a difference in the life of a Summit County child or teen.
Mentor: Laurie Rambaud
Laurie Rambaud is a Mentor to Izzy
My day job is Chief Technology Officer at PHRED Solutions, a Breckenridge based software that develops Problem Solving Software primarily for High Tech Manufacturing companies. I have lived in Summit County since 1994. Previously, for a different software company I transferred from California to England and was in charge of European Technical Support based out of Henley on Thames, England.
My passion is the performing arts , so I sing with the Summit Choral Society and am on the board of the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre.
What led you to become a mentor?
I had heard about Mountain Mentors for years and always thought it was a great program, however with a daughter in Summit County schools , there was not enough free time in my schedule. Two years ago my daughter graduated High School and went off to college back east. Suddenly I had time for Mountain Mentors, so I signed up. I believe that so many kids don't know how to talk to adults and take responsibility as adults, spending a little one on one time develops that skill. Also, my pet peeve is "not knowing what you want and letting others choose for you," so I let her pick activities much of the time.
What do you enjoy most about being a mentor?
Hanging out doing simple things like painting pottery or going swimming and playing in the pool basketball. So much of my work life is about system design which is quite impersonal that just playing/chatting gives me more balance.
Laurie & Izzy
How does mentoring fit into your life?
Fridays is normally our “let's do something” day. After school she takes the bus to my office in Breckenridge or I pick her up and we go somewhere. Last week it was her pick and she came to my office then we went to Subway for sandwiches and then Ready Paint Fire. My new soap dish is truly beautiful and doing its job in my bathroom. Her lovely ceramic turtle is named Shasta and lives in her room.
What is a favorite activity you have done as a mentor?
My favorite experience so far was the Mountain Mentor's organized Janet's cabin overnight hut trip. Snowshoeing up the mountain was quite a workout and we had a blast cooking, doing a very complicated puzzle and playing many, many games of Crazy Eights. A big plus for me was that the kids cooked and it was delicious.
Do you have advice for someone who is considering becoming a mentor?
Do it! Especially if you have a newly empty nest it’s a great thing to do (I am looking at you mothers and fathers of recent High School graduates). It’s just hanging out with a kid but for the kid its huge. Having someone from outside the mentee’s family simply ask about what they are doing and what they think about things promotes self esteem. As a mentor, you get to be a kid for a couple of hours a week --- who doesn't need that!
What do you like best about having a mentor?
Doing things that I don't often get to do, when I am not dancing 24/7. Having someone else to hang out with, having someone else that likes to do some of the same things that I like to do, and finding time to do something with Laurie.
What do you appreciate most about your daughter’s mentor?
Laurie is an amazing person and has many interests the same as my daughter. They just have fun hanging out together. Knowing that there is another adult in her life that she can go to if she needs to talk about things that she may not want to tell me. Laurie is this person that I feel very confident in having Izzy go to her.