Linsey Layman is an exceptional individual who has earned the title of “Outstanding Volunteer of the Year” due to her unwavering commitment and dedication to mentoring. Linsey’s remarkable journey as a mentor has spanned nearly two decades, making her a shining example of the positive reciprocal impact two people can have on each other’s lives. Her extraordinary relationship with her mentee, Naydelin, stands out as a testament to the transformative power of mentorship.

Linsey and Naydelin’s connection was forged in the Longmont Library when Naydelin was just in the 4th grade. From the very beginning, Linsey recognized the potential in Naydelin’s personality and enjoyed spending time with her. Their bond grew stronger as they embarked on various adventures together, including Longmont art walks, Dairy Queen visits (with Naydelin indulging in strawberry blizzards while Linsey opted for chocolate), attending ballet performances, and exploring the world of Jester Theater. Linsey played a pivotal role in helping Naydelin acclimate to Longmont when she first moved there, and she continued to nurture Naydelin’s love for learning and the arts.

Linsey, who was an only child, takes immense joy in witnessing Naydelin’s deepening connection with her own family. She values the importance of family bonds and cherishes Naydelin’s relationship with her loved ones.

When asked about the biggest lesson she’s learned from Naydelin, Linsey speaks of Naydelin’s incredible sense of responsibility. In return, Linsey has gifted books to Naydelin and her siblings, resulting in the creation of a little library filled with books from Linsey. Naydelin now reads these books to her siblings, fostering a love for literature and learning within her family. Linsey also acknowledges that she’s learned to be more open, honest, and adaptable, emphasizing the importance of listening and meeting people where they are, rather than imposing her own ideas.

Linsey’s motivation to stay committed to mentoring for nearly two decades stems from her desire to see Naydelin graduate and succeed, even if she may no longer “need Linsey” in the same way. Their relationship has evolved over the years, showcasing Linsey’s ability to adapt and engage Naydelin continuously. One noteworthy instance was when Naydelin expressed an interest in swimming lessons; Linsey took the initiative to gather all the necessary information and made it happen for Naydelin, exemplifying her commitment to supporting her mentee’s interests.

What truly makes Linsey an exceptional mentor is her ability to maintain fluid expectations in her role. She navigates challenges independently and always seeks Naydelin’s input on how best to support her and meet her where she is. Linsey’s dedication to Naydelin’s growth and well-being is unwavering, making her a role model not only as a mentor but also as a genuinely outstanding volunteer of the year. The depth of their relationship, Naydelin’s remarkable progress, and Linsey’s exemplary commitment make her a truly deserving recipient of this meaningful award.