Mentor program brings two together to learn from each other |

Mentor program brings two together to learn from each other

Dave Frank
Appeal Staff Writer

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal 12-year-old Chelsea Files, right, works with her mentor Sharon Ragsdale from Mentor Center of Western Nevada at "Dinners Ready" on Sunday.

Chelsea Files remembers the first time she went out to dinner with her mentor Sharon Ragsdale.

“Free pizza,” Files said. “I had too much pizza.”

The 12-year-old girl talks fast and tries to describe what happened when she got home that night.

“I had a dream … I had to fight them off … I had attacking pizzas coming at me.”

That was a few weeks ago when the Mentor Center of Western Nevada had just matched the two together.

Files said they were paired because they’re both hyper.

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“You mean ‘outgoing’?” Ragsdale joked.

On Wednesday, they met a second time for an etiquette class arranged by the mentor center.

Sit up straight, they learned. Don’t slouch.

And, this is something they both had trouble with: keep your elbows off the table.

Ragsdale said they placed close to last in the etiquette contest.

Part of the reason was that Files couldn’t get her napkin to stand up in the “dead chicken” position for a proper table setting. Ragsdale said the style is called this, because that’s what it looks like.

The napkin was too soft, Files said.

For their most recent meeting on Sunday, the two fixed a mixed vegetable and tequila lime chicken dinner together at another mentor center class.

“OK,” Files said, holding out her hands before the dinner, “you’re going to have to put on my gloves.”

Ragsdale tugged the gloves over the sixth grader’s hands.

“I broke my fingers a lot,” Files said, “so they are really big.”

Both said they like the other but want to get closer.

Files said she wants to teach Ragsdale to rollerblade. Ragsdale said she wants to take Files camping.

Files said she is most excited about going to the Reno mall with Ragsdale, but said camping will be nice, too.

“I like to lay down in my sleeping bag and look at the stars,” she said.

Also, if she can convince Ragsdale, Files will teach her how to swim.

“I taught my mom to swim,” she said.

Ragsdale shook her head.

“I’m scared of water. (But) if I can see the bottom, I’m OK.”

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.