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Taking Sara out of her shell

June 16, 2010

Youth Villages Clinical Supervisor Davina Bolinger, Sara and Jean

Davina Bolinger has taken a special interest in what Sara does.

In a few short months, it has made an enormous difference.

Last summer, Bolinger, a clinical supervisor at Youth Villages’ Morristown, Tenn. office, was told about a child who was a perfect match for her to mentor.

Become a Mentor
If you can commit at least six hours a month to a child, you have the time to be a mentor. Mentors are more than friends. Many times, they are the first positive adult role model a child has ever had. To become a mentor, visit

Sara suffered trichotillomania, and pulled out her hair, eyelashes and eyebrows.

She always went out with a cap and jacket, and became increasingly reclusive. Her grades began to suffer as well. Then Davina became Sara’s mentor.

“Davina has been a godsend,” said Jean, Sara’s mother. “She’s become part of the family.”

Sara’s now a totally different girl. The once quiet teenager is quiet no more.

“Sara’s very outgoing and much more talkative,” Bolinger said. “Her self-confidence has skyrocketed.”

So have her grades, as she recently was named to the A/B honor roll at her school.

She’s also a candidate for accelerated classes and has taken a serious interest in drawing and painting.

In East Tennessee and across the state, mentors are needed to make a difference in the lives of children. Many teenagers are unsure of themselves and reluctant to try new things or activities. A mentor offers another outlet for teenagers, giving them an opportunity to pursue interests they may be reluctant to do at home.

Bolinger and Sara go to the movies, shop and have visited the zoo. Jean said while they are still mother and daughter and everything that goes with that, Bolinger’s positive influence has made a marked improvement in Sara’s actions and behavior.

“They usually spend the day together,” Jean said about Bolinger and Sara. “Sara comes home and can’t stop telling me about it – I don’t know where Sara would be without Davina, and I don’t know what we’d do without her.”

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2010 12:09 pm

    Hi, the great site. thank you

  2. nancy permalink
    June 16, 2010 7:15 pm

    I was the Office Manager at the Morristown Office and I can tell you the first time I met Davina I knew she was a very special lady! I was coming from a divorce and from Michigan and she made me feel so special and so welcome, so this does not surprise me that she has opened up Sarah! All I can say is congrats Davina on making Sarah feel like she is somebody as you did me!

    • Davina Bolinger permalink
      July 15, 2010 2:11 pm

      Nancy, thank you for all your sweet comments. We miss you.

  3. June 22, 2010 6:55 pm

    Thank you Davina for helping me and being my friend

    • Davina Bolinger permalink
      July 15, 2010 2:10 pm

      Sara, thank you for being my friend!!!

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