TMP Nebraska founder Marissa Jensen's thoughts on mentoring

There is a healing property with water that has the potential to calm and the the soul. I have always had a deep love and connection with water for this reason. When I came across the website for The Mayfly Project, I knew I found the perfect fit to share my love for water and the outdoors while also providing guidance for others. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first joined The Mayfly Project. I knew that I wanted to become more involved in working with foster kids, but I was also excited for the opportunity to find other interested mentors in the area and build a bigger community of fly fishing enthusiast that enjoy giving back in the state of Nebraska. I was excited to provide an opportunity for foster kids that shows them how they can be successful in the outdoors or on the water, as well as provide consistency and companionship.

I must admit, I was a little nervous when I started with our first group of foster kids. I wasn’t sure how interested or engaged these kids would be. I kept thinking, what if they hate it, or they can’t catch a fish? What I found as a mentor is these kids just appreciate any time they get to spend with you away from their day to day lives. On our last outing, there was much more excitement over looking for macroinvertebrates than there was catching a fish. To be able to provide a sense of serenity and belonging for a child that might struggle with their place in this world is such a blessing.

The Mayfly Project is an incredible organization that I am so happy to be a part of. Knowing that I can help give these kids the tools to find their happiness and quiet during a busy or tough day truly fills me with joy. That smile they have when they land their first fish, or the laughs after they lose “the big one,” I hope it is something they will take with them for years to come, I know I will.

Marissa Jensen, Nebraska