News & Press Releases
Mentorship comes full circle for San Diego Pair
As a youth growing up in Carmel Valley, Brad Fenton benefitted from the attention and encouragement of a young man in his neighborhood; today that young man has founded Club Xcite, Southern California’s first private youth mentorship organization, and Fenton has joined its ranks as a professional mentor.
San Diego, CA (April 2009)- Club Xcite, LLC, a San Diego based youth mentorship program, has announced today that their mentorship model has come full circle: one of the first children to be mentored by founder Stefan Hochfilzer has joined their roster of tutors, mentors, and coaches committed to befriending and supporting local youth through their social, academic, and athletic struggles.
“When Stefan and I first met, I was only 8 years old,” explains Fenton, now age 20. “I had lost my father when I was much younger, and as a single parent my mom struggled to provide the support I needed. Stefan really felt like an older brother, without the fighting part. He has always felt like a genuine friend, even though he’s about seven years older than I am.”
School was tough for Fenton, and he struggled heavily through elementary and most of middle school. “In 8th grade, thanks to Stefan’s influence, I started turning things around,” says Fenton. He went on to play water polo competitively for Torrey Pines High School, known regionally as an athletic powerhouse.
Currently a full-time student studying sociology, Fenton loves working with troubled kids. As a mentor, he strives to balance bringing fun to each activity while supporting burgeoning friendships and including all participants. Building confidence is also important to his work. “Confidence was a problem for me as a kid, and I’ve had to try to just put myself out there and be vulnerable in lots of situations in order to get to where I am today. If I can pass that on to these kids, it’s a job well done.”
Fenton recently lost his mother to cancer, a misfortune that could have caused him to turn his back on his work encouraging and inspiring local youth. Instead, he loves the feeling of giving back as a mentor. “It really makes you reflect on your own life and gives you a good feeling of who you yourself are as a person.” He adds, “I absolutely love mentoring and working with these kids.”
With the new element of employment added to their relationship, Fenton insists that he still sees Hochfilzer as a mentor. “I can talk to him about anything, and I still absolutely look up to him.”
“I know how the kids we work with get excited about having a fun, positive role model because I remember how much I looked forward to hanging out with Stefan,” says Fenton. “It’s the same way for these kids today.”
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