Ambassadors of Mentoring 2021

We are excited to announce the 2021 Vermont Ambassadors of Mentoring!

MENTOR Vermont and Comcast have teamed up again this January to raise awareness of the amazing work mentors are doing in the communities across Vermont and recognize outstanding volunteer mentors and their mentees for their service.

Because of the pandemic, we realize this has been an especially difficult year for youth, and for mentors as well. With these awards, MENTOR Vermont and Comcast hope to highlight the ways mentors and mentees have maintained their connections and discovered new ways to stay in touch during this time of uncertainty. We want to promote positivity, and to encourage new people to become mentors, even if it looks a little different than it did before.

The award ceremony for this year’s Ambassadors took place virtually on Tuesday, January 26, and the recording can be viewed here.

Click on each of the mentor pairs’ names below to read their stories!

1: Alaina & Monica - Cabot Mentoring

Name of Mentee: Alaina
Name of Mentor: Monica Morrissey
Mentoring Program: Cabot Mentoring
Program Type: Community-Based
Length of Their Match: 3 years
Age of Mentee: 11

About This Match: Alaina loves people, but especially one-to-one time. When she joined Cabot Mentoring, she had a busy life with lots of social interactions… a brother and two parents, school with her peers at Cabot, Cabot Community Theater with other local actors…but she really wanted some individual attention. She loves spending time with Monica, where it’s just the two of them. They bake, do projects, and talk: LOTS of talk! When one of them goes on a trip, they do video chat to share the place they are visiting. When early morning is a challenge for Alaina, Monica is there with a text reminder that they are meeting up for a game before classes start…and suddenly Alaina is ready to get to school! When Monica published a book, and went on a local tour, Alaina was there to help her out, and keep her company. They are mentor and mentee, but much more importantly, they are good friends who support each other and share their lives.

Mentoring has been great for Monica. She really likes spending time with kids, but prior to joining Cabot Mentoring, she was missing that contact. Her two sons are young adults, living on their own. She does curriculum development with schools in the Northeast Kingdom area, but primarily works with the school staff rather than students. Monica loves the opportunity to spend time with Alaina, bonding over their many common interests. She also likes the “girl energy”, which she didn’t experience raising her boys. Of course, every mentoring relationship has challenges, but Monica turns them into opportunities to help Alaina develop skills and confidence. She is so happy to be part of Alaina’s journey, and to be Alaina’s friend.

Additional Contributions to the Program: Alaina and Monica have been great ambassadors for mentoring. Monica, and Alaina’s parents, work at local schools, and are happy to talk to anyone about the difference mentoring has made in their lives. Alaina is also very happy to share her experience with her peers. Even though both Monica and Alaina had busy, full lives before being matched, mentoring has given them something more; a new friendship that adds so much to both their lives. They have shown our community that mentoring benefits both the mentee and the mentor, and it’s a lot of fun, too!

Alaina and Monica were nominated as Ambassadors of Mentoring by Susan Socks, program coordinator of Cabot Mentoring

Note: The photo above was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2: Alexis & Megan - Windsor County Mentors

Name of Mentee: Alexis
Name of Mentor: Megan Culp
Mentoring Program: Windsor County Mentors
Program Type: Community-Based
Length of Their Match: 2 years
Age of Mentee: 11

About This Match: In Megan’s words: “I have seen Alexis’s growth and courage in sharing about herself. Her attitude has improved and she has been more successful in making friends. Recently she bravely sang a song on Facebook Messenger that she had learned in music class about how important friendship was and especially for one particular friend.”

Megan is a long-time mentor and says that she is “honored and privileged to be a mentor where a young girl will put her trust in me to be a friend.” Additionally, Megan is “reminded of mentors in my own life that had that belief in me when I did not and helped me move out and beyond fear or trepidation.”

Additional Contributions to the Program: Megan, the mentor, is also a major financial and operational leader at Windsor County Mentors.

Alexis and Megan were nominated as Ambassadors of Mentoring by Matthew Garcia, executive director of Windsor County Mentors

3: Caleb & John - Mentoring Project of the Upper Valley

Name of Mentee: Caleb
Name of Mentor: John Narowski
Mentoring Program: The Mentoring Project of the Upper Valley
Program Type: Community-Based
Length of Their Match: 2.25 years
Age of Mentee: 13

About This Match: Caleb lives with his Mom and two sisters, and sees his Dad every other weekend. He’s glad to have another man to spend time with and do various activities that he enjoys. In the words of Caleb, “If I didn’t have John, things would be a lot harder. If I didn’t have John around, I’d pretty much be sitting at home all the time being sick and tired of sitting around.”

John and his wife raised two daughters, so he understands the feeling of living in an all-female household. John states, “I think having my mentoring relationship with Caleb has added another dimension to my life, and during COVID-19 that’s been very, very good.”

Additional Contributions to the Program: Before COVID, Caleb and John consistently participated in group and volunteer activities. Caleb and John have been consistently engaged with one another and have found ways to be active while social distancing by biking, hiking and swimming, and then remotely by playing chess and other board games online. They have inspired other mentoring matches to do the same.

Caleb and John were nominated as Ambassadors of Mentoring by Nancy Jones, director of The Mentoring Project of the Upper Valley

Note: The photo above was taken during a group sledding event prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

4: Charlotte & Amanda - Milton Mentors

Name of Mentee: Charlotte
Name of Mentor: Amanda Spector
Mentoring Program: Milton Mentors
Program Type: Community-Based
Length of Their Match: 2.75 years
Age of Mentee: 10

About This Match: When Charlotte joined Milton Mentors, she was only eight years old and pretty shy. At our group events she was really quiet and it wasn’t always easy to tell if she was having fun. But, the two of them came to all of our events and over time Charlotte began to open up and jump right into the group conversations. I would now consider her one of the leaders of our group. Charlotte and Amanda have kept up with their regular match meetings throughout the pandemic and Charlotte has been instrumental in coming up with ideas for crafts and online activities to keep them engaged. She has really shown commitment to her friendship with Amanda and I think their friendship has really contributed to Charlotte’s self-confidence.

Like many mentors, Amanda has a busy and very full life. She is a practicing veterinarian and an active participant in the Milton Inclusion and Diversity Initiative. She and her husband Peter, who is also a mentor in our program, are regular participants in all of our group activities and mentor trainings. We have even gotten to know their two Siamese cats through our Zoom events. Over the past few years, Amanda has been a supportive and steadfast friend to Charlotte. They have gone on lots of adventures, created countless art projects, and explored a variety of ways to stay connected remotely during the pandemic. Amanda has been patient during tough times, encouraged communication around challenging subjects, and always believed in Charlotte. Their friendship is what youth mentoring is all about. I think she would say that she has gained every bit as much from their relationship as Charlotte.

Additional Contributions to the Program: From the time that they were matched almost three years ago, Charlotte and Amanda have been regular participants in Milton Mentors’ events. They are kind and thoughtful contributors to group conversations. They are always willing to try new things. They also seem to have an endless supply of ideas for fun and engaging activities for their own match meetings! In fact, their ideas have been the inspiration behind more than one of our group events and pandemic activity kits! We love having them in our group.

Charlotte and Amanda were nominated as Ambassadors of Mentoring by Amy Spector, program coordinator for Milton Mentors

5: Elias & Patrick - Community Friends (Middlebury College)

Name of Mentee: Elias
Name of Mentor: Patrick Wachira
Mentoring Program: Community Friends (Middlebury College Center for Community Engagement)
Program Type: School and Community-Based
Length of Their Match: 1 year
Age of Mentee: 6

About This Match: Elias loves spending time with Patrick, whether it be on campus last year or virtually this year. He especially loved eating meals with Patrick in the dining hall.

Patrick looks forward to spending time with Elias. Elias’s energy keeps Patrick on his toes. He’s constantly running to catch up with Elias and coming up with new creative ways to engage him through virtual mentoring.

Additional Contributions to the Program: Elias and Patrick consistently attend Community Friends program events, including our Fall Festival this year. Additionally Patrick and Elias were a part of the Community Friends 60th Anniversary story project, and got to be interviewed together. Patrick was also one of three mentors who worked on planning, recording, and editing the project.

Elias and Patrick were nominated as Ambassadors of Mentoring by Tenzin Dorjee, Mentoring and Outreach AmeriCorps VISTA member, for the Middlebury College Center for Community Engagement

6: Ferris & Bob - Grand Isle County Mentoring

Name of Mentee: Ferris
Name of Mentor: Bob Wigness
Mentoring Program: Grand Isle County Mentoring Program
Program Type: Community-Based
Length of Their Match: 8 years
Age of Mentee: 13

About This Match: Ferris is an extremely smart individual. Any difficulties he has faced over the years, whether it involves school or home, Bob has been there, consistently offering Ferris a safe place to be who is without judgement and to feel valued. Bob has challenged him to channel his energy into fascinating projects that match his natural curiosities. When I asked Ferris to share his thoughts about Bob, this is what he had to say, “Bob is really smart. He does really cool stuff, has interesting hobbies and is tall.” Bob added, “don’t forget my part is always straight!”, getting a chuckle from Ferris. He went on to share, “He has a huge impact on me. He’s taught me so much, he was the first person who got me interested in music, he’s just a good positive role model in my life that I like to hang out with.”

Bob has mentored several other children prior to Ferris. He shared that this relationship is different than the others. The shared respect and admiration for each other has allowed them to develop what he feels like a grandparent/grandchild relationship which brings such warmth to both of their lives.

Bob appreciates that they learn from each other. For example, when working on crosswords together and the clue is regarding a more contemporary band, Ferris will share his knowledge. When the clue may go back in history a bit, Bob can share what he knows. It is truly a partnership. When I asked Bob to share his thoughts, he said, “Ferris is also very smart. His ability to multi-task is impressive. He might be building a model one moment in the library while also answering a peer’s questions about where to find a specific book in the library. I am also impressed how he takes time to research topics he is interested in (such as candidates in the last election).” Bob clearly thinks as highly of Ferris as Ferris does of him.

Additional Contributions to the Program: Bob has been dedicated to the program since it began 12 years ago. He is always willing to share his experiences, participate in program events, and is such an advocate for his mentees. His wife Ruby has also been in the program for 12 years and has served on the executive committee for the program. Both have contributed so much time and shared expertise to ensure our program is successful.

Ferris has always participated in program events and has shared with peers his positive experiences.

Ferris and Bob were nominated as Ambassadors of Mentoring by Liese Reagan, program coordinator for the Grand Isle County Mentoring Program

Note: The photo above was taken at Community Science Night at the ECHO Leahy Center, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

7: Garon & Joe - The Collaborative

Name of Mentee: Garon
Name of Mentor: Joe Ninesling
Mentoring Program: The Collaborative
Program Type: School-Based
Length of Their Match: 6 months
Age of Mentee: 6

About This Match: Garon is one of our new youth to join the Collaborative’s mentor program. Garon is an inquisitive and energetic first grader from our Flood Brook community who is familiar with The Collaborative, but was new to mentoring. Garon is a great example of a flexible and resilient young man – our youth have adapted to the new normal of virtual connection, although it may be challenging at times – and Garon is no exception. Garon has enjoyed getting to know his mentor over these past couple of months. He has told us that he loves talking to Joe and playing word games with him while they meet. They love to share stories about their day or when Joe was growing up. They like to share how their day has gone and what they are looking forward to for the rest of their week. Joe and Garon also play word games together to help each other relax and end the day on a good note. Garon has mentioned that he would like to “see” Joe more often because their time is so important to him. Garon has said that when they are “together” that it is really fun and he likes having that one person who is outside of his friends and family to talk to.

Technology plays a big role in today’s society, not just due to the pandemic, but there are more options for people to connect over the internet. Garon’s generation is used to growing up in a technological world, unlike Joe, who may not have grown up in it. Watching these two be able to come together over the computer screen is so touching and powerful since it shows that they both are dedicated to one another and rise to the challenges this year has brought upon us.

Joe has been a regular contributor to The Collaborative Mentor program for many years. This year he was paired with a new mentee, Garon. Joe has quickly bonded with Garon and the two formed a powerful relationship that benefits each of them. Joe works hard to ensure Garon enjoys their time together, from reading books to playing word games with his mentee on a bi-weekly basis. Joe also is always looking for ways to keep Garon focused and engaged during their sessions. Joe has said that he looks forward to his time with Garon and he loves sharing some of his childhood memories with him. They tend to have to be reminded when time is up since they are both very invested and interested in getting to know each other – the time flies!

When Joe was asked if he would be willing to come back and be a mentor during the pandemic, he was one of the first ones to step up to participate once again. Even though the matches were not going to be able to meet in person or on the school grounds, Joe didn’t back down. He wanted to be there for his mentee in any way possible. That showed us that even despite challenges and having to switch how our program was going to run this year, people are still willing to do whatever it takes to help our youth succeed in life.

Additional Contributions to the Program: Joe is a great role model to our program. As a mentor, he keeps communication open to all parties involved and is able to set realistic expectations. He offers support and guidance to his mentee; he is honest, actively participates and takes the time to know his mentee. Joe is reliable and especially focused on establishing a relationship with today’s youth.

Garon and Joe’s match has shown The Collaborative resilience and the power of human connection – that old and new generations can still learn from one another. I am excited to see what is in store for this match as the year continues on.

Garon and Joe were nominated as Ambassadors of Mentoring by Devon Collins, AmeriCorps service member at The Collaborative

8: Jailynn & Andrea - Mentoring at UCS

Name of Mentee: Jailynn
Name of Mentor: Andrea Luchini
Mentoring Program: Mentoring at UCS
Program Type: School and Community-Based
Length of Their Match: 4 years
Age of Mentee: 13

About This Match: In Jailynn’s words: “Having a mentor has been great! We have done bowling, hiking, cross country skiing, and a lot of other fun activities. Before I had a mentor, I didn’t like going to school and now I like going to school and I’m doing better at school than before. I’m able to have one-on-one time with my mentor and I’ve learned a lot from her. She’s awesome! I hope to be able to be a mentor one day!”

In Andrea’s words: “While the pandemic and necessary restrictions have made getting together tough, Jailynn and I are lucky that most of what we like to do is to get outside and explore. She loves to swim, but we were hesitant to go to one of the more crowded swimming spots this summer. A friend told me about a hike with a swimming hole near her house so I invited Jailynn to check it out with me, thinking she must have been there before. That turned out to be another reminder to not make assumptions or take experiences for granted. She had never been and thought it was the best place ever!

The mentoring program has not only been a great way for Jailynn to experience new things and have time away from her younger siblings, but she has also loved the social aspect. Meeting up with the other mentees in the program and making friends outside of school has definitely been a highlight. I’ve watched her self-confidence grow as she interacts with new people. It’s also amazing to watch her continually challenge herself; her inner strength and bravery should be an example for us all!

Mentoring is an incredibly meaningful way to ‘pay forward’ all the good fortune I have received. The experience has made me feel more connected to my community, helped me see the world through someone else’s eyes, and given me an opportunity to share my love of the outdoors with a fun and courageous young friend.”

Additional Contributions to the Program: In Laurie’s words: “Andrea and Jailynn began their match relationship in January of 2017. Throughout the past three years they have engaged in most all Mentoring at UCS match events/trainings and have spent many hours enjoying each other’s company engaging in various activities, most of them experiencing the outdoors. They have always readily embraced and included new mentors/mentees into the group. Andrea, who is employed at the Hildene, set up one of the most beloved match events of bottle feeding the baby goats that are raised on the premises in May 2019, an event that was missed by all this year due to COVID. She also facilitated the opportunity for Mentoring at UCS to have a Hildene pass that can be checked out by mentors and their mentees to enjoy the house and beautiful grounds at no cost.

Both Andrea and Jailynn have clearly benefited from the mentoring experience as evidenced by their personal quotes. We are truly fortunate to have them both in our program!”

Jailynn and Andrea were nominated as Ambassadors of Mentoring by Laurie Sallisky, program coordinator at Mentoring at UCS

9: Lily & Marie - Twinfield Together Mentoring

Name of Mentee: Lily
Name of Mentor: Marie Maclay
Mentoring Program: Twinfield Together Mentoring Program
Program Type: School and Community-Based
Length of Their Match: 1.25 years
Age of Mentee: 9

About This Match: Lily has been asking for a mentor for some time, and she is very excited to have been paired with Marie. As an Everybody Wins! pair, they began their friendship last year reading books and doing art together. It didn’t take long for Marie to get invited to Lily’s basketball games – and Marie was there to cheer her on whenever she could. Once the pandemic hit, and school shut down, Marie and Lily were able to stay connected on Zoom, and they continue to meet each Wednesday to read books, do crafts, and play games together. Lily really appreciates having a special friend who she can talk to and she looks forward to seeing Marie every Tuesday for their Zoom mentoring session.

Marie has been a mentor with Twinfield Together since it began in 2009. Marie has always been a great friend to all of her mentees because she is a great listener, has a wonderful sense of humor, and always looks at the positive in people. When Marie decided to mentor again in the Everybody Wins! program, I knew her well enough to know she would be a great match with Lily. Marie shared that, “Through my participation in the mentoring program, I have gained insight into just how much the mentee/mentor pairs gain from one another and other mentor/mentee pairs, especially in this time of COVID. I love seeing Lily’s smiling face and I love her attitude and creativity. It’s been more challenging not being able to meet face to face during the colder weather but we are both committed to connecting in a safe and effective manner.”

Additional Contributions to the Program: Marie is currently on the Twinfield Together Mentoring Program Advisory Board, and she is always willing to help out in any way. TtMP is lucky to have had Marie as part of the Twinfield Together Family for so many years.

Lily and Marie were nominated as Ambassadors of Mentoring by Pam Quinn, director of the Twinfield Together Mentoring Program

10: Makyliah & Jenn - New Circle Mentoring

Name of Mentee: Makyliah
Name of Mentor: Jenn Nixon
Mentoring Program: New Circle Mentoring
Program Type: Community-Based
Length of Their Match: 3 years
Age of Mentee: 13

About This Match: From the beginning, Makyliah embraced her mentoring relationship warmly and cheerfully. Three years later she and her mentor have a bond that she can rely on. Together Makyliah and her mentor Jenn have attended mentoring events and explored opportunities outside the program such as art and music classes and summer camps. Makyliah and Jenn brainstorm ideas for activities then pursue, plan and act on them. They are a team!

Jenn says she feels her that her mentoring relationship benefits her as equally as it does her mentee Makyliah. As a mentor, Jenn learns alongside her mentee. Together they have taken on projects, school assignments and extracurricular activities. Jenn has always had the good spirited mentality of taking things as they come and adapting to the situation at hand. Mentoring during a pandemic has been no exception. Jenn found creative and meaningful ways to keep a connection with her mentee during the COVID-19 crisis. From writing letters and sending postcards, taking outside walks and paying visits to drop off gifts, Jenn’s mentee could be assured that she was not alone during trying times.

Additional Contributions to the Program: Jenn and Makyliah are one of the original New Circle mentoring matches. They have been with the program since the beginning and have just recently celebrated their three-year anniversary! They have attended every group event with enthusiasm and dedication. Jenn and Makyliah are anchors of New Circle Mentoring and their participation encourages and supports our community of mentoring pairs.

Makyliah and Jenn were nominated as Ambassadors of Mentoring by Erika Linskey, program director of New Circle Mentoring

Note: This photo was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

11: Nikkiah & Emily - King Street Center

Name of Mentee: Nikkiah
Name of Mentor: Emily McCarthy
Mentoring Program: King Street Center’s Junior Senior Buddies
Program Type: Community-Based
Length of Their Match: 8 years
Age of Mentee: 18

About This Match: Over their eight year relationship in King Street Center’s mentoring program, Nikkiah and Emily have benefited from patience, acceptance, unconditional love, and gentle guidance which allows a person to grow and pave their own way in life.

As a mentor, Emily shared, “My biggest impact on Nikkiah has been giving her validation and empathy. In my early years, I hoped my mentoring would change the trajectory of her life, inspire, and support her into higher education and a career. More recently, I have discovered that my best impact is to validate and empathize with her life experiences.”

Emily and Nikkiah’s relationship grew throughout the years, from baking apple pies and visiting Jay Peak waterpark, through the complexity of adolescence, to today where Nikkiah has grown into a young confident woman. Regardless of the challenges and obstacles that come their way, the two of them managed to survive them. What keeps them together is the respect and genuine care they have for one another. “I value her companionship,” Emily says.

Recently Nikkiah texted Gabriella Tufo Strouse, King Street Center’s community outreach director, and wrote, “Emily has always said when the times get tough, believe in yourself, and put the work into it. She has shown me that the community is a better place when you put your time in and follow your dreams. I trust Emily. I can tell her anything and she is always there when I need her.”

In December the pair celebrated Nikkiah’s 18th birthday. Due to the pandemic, they were not able to gather in person, but Emily dropped off a handmade “Happy 18th Birthday!” sign and homemade dinner for her. As Emily said, “I worried that it was a lackluster celebration for such a big birthday, but she was so excited!”

Nikkiah’s parents told Gabriella, “We are thankful for Emily. We feel as though Emily has shown Nikkiah that there is an opportunity and she does have a voice and she is important, loved, and wanted. That there are options out there and Emily has been there to support Nikkiah at her toughest times.”

Additional Contributions to the Program: Emily and Nikkiah have made a tremendous contribution to the King Street Center’s mentoring program. A one-year commitment turned into eight years. They speak passionately about the power of mentoring and openly share the impact their relationship has had on each other. I have enjoyed witnessing their relationship grow and change over time. Emily and Nikkiah are deeply connected to the mentoring program and often provide insight and support to be shared with other mentoring pairs. 

Nikkiah and Emily were nominated as Ambassadors of Mentoring by Gabriella Tufo Strouse, director of community outreach at the King Street Center

Note: This photo was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

12: Tekneal and Amy - MAUSD Mentoring

Name of Mentee: Tekneal
Name of Mentor: Amy Rogers
Mentoring Program: MAUSD Mentoring (Lincoln Mentors)
Program Type: Community-Based
Length of Their Match: 4+ years
Age of Mentee: 10

About This Match: When Amy Rogers signed on to become a mentor in our Lincoln community, she took this on with one hundred percent commitment and dedication. Tekneal is currently in fifth grade – when Tekneal was in first grade Amy was matched up with Tekneal. Through numbers, Amy has spent almost 242 hours with Tekneal. Bypassing the numbers, Amy has become deeply woven into the fabric of Tekneal’s life, spending time with Tekneal each and every week, whether it was in person or virtually. Amy does not pretend to be interested in Tekneal’s life, she is truly committed and dedicated.

As most mentors do, they change up the way they spend time together, whether it is excursions outside, taking a tour of Tekneal’s home, eating ice cream sundaes at a soda parlor. Tekneal has a little sister, Jayleigh. Amy has also gotten to know Jayleigh.
About two years ago, Amy moved to another town. She did not miss a beat and continued mentoring Tekneal, though the commuting time more than tripled. When it is a time when mentor/mentee activity typically slows down, it doesn’t slow down for these two. It could be in the middle of a school vacation – and I receive a report about their time together. Without fail, I am gifted with wonderful photo records. When I ask Tekneal about her latest adventure with Amy, her eyes sparkle and it is obvious that Amy has made a huge difference in Tekneal’s life.

Though it has never been spelled out to me, I believe that Amy has equally benefited from this mentoring relationship. Amy’s dedication is authentic – she enjoys her time with Tekneal and has made a space in her life that will always be for Tekneal. When others might have left behind the commitment – once moving – Amy never considered doing this.

Additional Contributions to the Program: Amy has been a valuable resource for me – the mentor coordinator that has only been on board for almost two years. When I need support, she is always helpful and supportive. She is a dedicated member of the team of mentors.

Tekneal and Amy were nominated as Ambassadors of Mentoring by Beth Nelson, coordinator of the Lincoln Mentors program

13: Tempi and Sarah - Empower Up!

Name of Mentee: Tempi
Name of Mentor: Sarah Vigneau
Mentoring Program: Empower Up! (Windsor Central Mentoring Program)
Program Type: School-Based
Length of Their Match: 2 years
Age of Mentee: 9

About This Match: Tempi’s grandmother puts it this way, “Tempi has come out of her shell, she really enjoys her time with Sarah. I can’t say enough good things about Sarah, she helps Tempi with her reading and it shows.” Tempi has continued to grow as a student in her academics and in her relationships with others. Tempi is engaging and positive. Tempi is working hard in school.

Sarah has shown a level of commitment, creativity, consistency, and caring that has been amazing for Tempi (and has also supported Tempi’s sister on some activities). Sarah has hit all areas in their meetings; arts and crafts, school work, reading, math, drawing, Play-Doh projects, pumpkin carving, Zoom meetings, hide and seek, and the list goes on. When we went to remote mentoring in March of 2020, Sarah was working on making it happen for Tempi. Sarah has also been a strong role model for Tempi and also provides a supportive ear for what is happening in her life. When we went to in-person with COVID-19 precautions, Sarah continued to be creative in her meetings with Tempi. When we went back to no in-person mentoring again, Sarah continued to make it happen. Windsor Central’s Empower UP! Mentoring Program is extremely lucky, and thankful, to have a mentor such as Sarah.

Additional Contributions to the Program: This mentor and mentee pair has been great example of our mentoring program. They have been an amazing example of how positive an experience a mentoring match is and how it can impact each others’ lives. I am proud of all our mentors, they are an extremely rare kind of people with dedication towards others, giving them the gift of time and much more.

Tekneal and Amy were nominated as Ambassadors of Mentoring by Annie Luke, coordinator of Empower Up!