Extraordinary Thank Your Mentor Breakfast!

January 20, 2012 Appreciation, National Mentoring Month

Senator Patrick Leahy with Mentors from the MOVE mentoring program at St. Michael’s College. Photo courtesy of Shayne Lynn Photography

There is nothing like a room full of mentors to warm up a cold Vermont morning.  And warm it was, warm and very moving!   It was great to see so many people who share a serious passion for mentoring together, sharing stories about their mentees.  Mentors sat together with other mentors from their programs, and for some it was the only chance to be together as a group all year.

Outstanding Mentors. Photo courtesy of Shayne Lynn Photography.

Each program coordinator presented the Outstanding Mentor nominated for their program.  A match from the Dream Program spoke with eloquence and humor about their special bond, and about the personal growth each experienced as a result of their time together.

The 170 or so guests sat in eager anticipation of National Mentoring Month Spokesperson, Burlington Police Chief Michael Schirling.  But eyes lit up, and there were even a few gasps of delight when Mobius Executive Direction Andrea Torello announced that we had a special guest.  Senator Patrick Leahy, a long-time champion for mentoring in Vermont, entered the ballroom to a spontaneous standing ovation.  He went to the podium and thanked the mentors for their time and efforts.  “You make a real difference in the lives of those you help,” he said.  Senator Leahy is responsible for bringing a considerable amount of federal funding into Vermont for mentoring.

BPD Chief Michael Schirling. Photo courtesy of Shayne Lynn Photography

Chief Schirling was a good sport about following Senator Leahy.  He passionately “preached to the choir,” as he put it.  He reminded mentors that their positive influence mentors have ripples out into the community.  “There is no better way to help solve, or ultimately prevent, our community’s problems, many of them repeating generation after generation – repetitive health care needs, substance abuse, educational needs, or criminal justice interventions, than to change the course of a child’s life.”

The annual National Mentoring Month breakfast to honor mentors is always an uplifting event.  This year,  it was extraordinary –  thanks to the program coordinators, Dream mentor Molly Mulcahy and her mentee, Noah, Chief Michael Schirling, and Senator Patick Leahy.

King Street’s Gabriella Tufo Strouse with Hibo. Shayne Lynn Photography