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Ahmad Sulaiman Abul
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Marie E. Ashkar
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RosaLee "Mama"
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Violet Begay
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Carol Helms
Lauren Hendericks
"Rip" Hewes
Cathie Hirsch
Michael Hoard
Naura Hoard
Ruth Holland
John Holensworth
Regina Horne-Espree
Jennifer Horton
Dan Houck
Alice Humphries
Emmanuel Ijewere
Maryclaire Ison
Ole and Bruce Jacobson
Margaret James
Maurice Jelks
Cassie Jennings
Chris Johnson
Fred Jones
Seneshia Jones
Andy July
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Roland Kelpe
Mr. Ken
Terry Kennedy
Dayo Keshi
Christy Kiley
Colleen Knupp
Dr. John Kontogianes
Therese Kosary
Jim Kostielney
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Sherrie Krumm
Randy Kuykendall
Anthony Lambert
Wendy Landblom
Michelle LaVigne
Celeste Lee
Dan and Dina Levin
Sue Levine
Claudette Lewis
Mrs. Leyhane
Patricia Little
Nigel Livesley
Chris Locke
Mr. Logen
Joanne Lonetto
Mike Long
Tina Lopez
Tony Lopez
Bonnie Lukowski
Bishop Roger Madison
John and Brea Malloy
Mr. Manns
Rose Marino
Rory Marshall
Marissa Martin
Mandy Matteson
Maneli Mazlumi
Tim McCarthy
Liz McCutcheon
Angie and Shaun McKay
Lesley McKay
Kim McKnee
John McNeal
Joe Melcher
Mom & Dad Mendez
Pedro Mendez
Marlen Mendoza
Nancy Mendoza
Joe Mercuri
Sandra Merrill
Edith Merritt
Michael Meshnick
Annette Meyerkord
Annick Michem
Nancy Middlebrook
Heather Miers
Steven Mietelski
Olga Miller
Cheryl Miller-Porter
Kelly Mills
Dennis Mitchell
Martin Mogeni
Julia Moran
Laura Moran
Maria Muddu
Vijaya Narasimhan
Alicia Nix
Bart Nolan
Jason and Julie Noll
Brian Norwood
Lauren O'Brien
Maura O'Brien
Pat O'Carroll
Mary Oliver
Christian Orozco
Charmaine Osbourne
Nancy Ostin
Joe Ostrander, Sr.
Karen P.
Ashley Pascualon
Tom Pate
Tim Pelletier
Gladys Pemberton
Carlos Perez
Pat Peterson
Ron Peterson
Eunicetine Pharr
Martha Philgreen
Elizabeth Phillips
Hal Portner
Salvador Prado
Jeff Price
Mrs. Quackenbush
Glenn R.
Andy Raia and Marcy Lape
"Mr. Odell" Randall
Bryan Rees
Leann Reynolds
James Rice
Michele Rivas
Augy Rizo
Mr. Robb
Al Rodrigues
Lou Romero
Willie Romero
Brie Roumeliotis
Kellie Sadens
Kris Sadens
Minerva Sanchez
Alissa Santos
Carrie Schloss
Robb Schwartz
Wendy Scott
Allen Searson
Daya Chandra Shastri
Connie Sheesley
Floyd Simpson
Joe-Ann Singletary
Susan Skorupski
Mr. Skougland
Amanda Sleezer
Deserae Smith
Thomas V. Smith
Cedric D. Sparks, Sr.
Tony Squire
Lisa Steffen
Carmen Stephens
Dawn Stirneman
Carol Stopol
Mr. Stucchio
Floyd "Crazy Floyd" Sturtevant
Professor M. Sudhir
Patricia Sullivan-Kriss
Kelly Sutcliffe
Janine Sutter
Billy Talley
Jim Taylor
Steve Taylor
Amy Thornton
Peter Thorpe
Kristi Treadway
Christopher Tricarico
Carolyn Tully
Nikole Turcotte
C. Turner
Josephine Turner
Sue Urbanczyk
Suzanna Valdez
Brianna & Maryanne Van Burger
Clyde Vanel
Dusty Vaught
Srini Veradarajan
Aurelie Voix
Lynne Wade
Marie Wagnon
Stacia Walfall
Fr. Tom Walsh
Jack Warren
Terry Weight
Mrs. Geraldine White
Alysa Whitesell
Deidre H. Whitfield
Sandra Whitley
Jan Williams
Maggi Williams
Roger Williams
Smiley Williams
Ann Zeiler
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to find mentoring
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Welcome to Mentor Tributes. We hope you find these tributes inspiring and meaningful. Tributes are displayed alphabetically by the mentor's last name. Please use the index on the left sidebar to search for a specific tribute.

The ninth Thank Your Mentor Day will be celebrated on January 17, 2011. Express your appreciation to your mentor by submitting a tribute of your own.

* The Harvard Mentoring Project makes no effort to ascertain the authenticity or accuracy of any tributes posted on this web site.

Mentor: Ahmad Sulaiman Abul

My doctor: Ahmad Sulaiman Abul
I've decided to write you a small note, thanking you for your help. I enjoyed being taught by you immensely; you are an excellent teacher and have inspired me to continue learning with an open and positive mind. I appreciate all your hard work, it's meant so much to me.
Once again, thank you so much for your time, expertise and patience!
Your student:

Muneera al-Khaldi
Kuwait City, Kuwait

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Mentor: Miss Adderly

To Miss Adderly, our public school Librarian.
From her, I learned that books are fun, that they follow a system of organization that works, and that libraries are sacred places. From her, I learned that the written word can spark creative endeavours in other media - we learned to love the skill and timing of Bill Cosby. She taught us to love peace and the quiet it affords, while teaching us valuable life lessons. She commanded and gave respect from her rocking chair circle, and I strive to bring that same wonder to my own charges. She inspired in us a love of literature that has taken me far, often without having to leave my own rocking chair.
Thanks Miss Adderly!

Adrienne Fitchett
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada

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Mentor: Bob Alt

I am so thankful to have a caring, motivating, inspirational, and friendly mentor like you. I appreciate you so much and I thank you. You are very important to me and I want you to know that. I like when we go to the movies and eat, it should be a tradition. Thank you for everything.

Colin, age 14
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Sarah Alvarez

My mentor is my mother. Because she takes care of me. She always helps me with my homework. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Stacey M., age 7
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Alicia Ambriz

I look up to my mom because she always helps me if I have trouble. For me she is always the thing I want. She also takes care of me.

Luis P., age 9
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Tanya Amini

I am thankful for my mentor because she has always pushed me to do well in school. My mentor is important to me because she is always there for me and I know I could go to her for anything. Tanya is special to me because she has changed my life in these two years.

Vanessa, age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: James Anderson

This tribute is to my beloved Mentor James Anderson. A Teacher and Counselor for almost 30 years he dedicated his time to pushing young men to accomplish their goals as well as use their full potiental. Never judgmental or preachful, James Anderson positioned me with inspiration to be the first to graduate from college (USC) in my family and gave me a focus to become a 6 time Track and Field All American. My ultimate right of passage given to me by this wonderful individual was teaching me how to knot a tie. His time and knowledge given to me was paramount. I will never forget. This tribute is to you James Anderson.....Thank you.

Charles Lee
Pacoima, CA

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Mentor: Judy Anderson

My mentor, she had a heart as big as Texas and a hug that would swallow you whole! Still does. Thank you, Judy, for believing in me, encouraging me, strengthening me. Faith, Hope, Truth and Love - you showed me the way in all those and I'm still walking the way you taught me to walk. If not for you, I don't know where I'd be today...probably not even alive. Thank you for taking the time to mentor me. I Love You!

Karol Ellis
Winchester, CA

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Mentor: Marlys Anderson

I grew up in a very small town in North Dakota in the 50's and 60's. Mrs. Anderson was both our neighbor and a teacher in my school. More than that, Mrs. Anderson kept us striving to reach beyond ourselves. She didn't let the small town be a detriment to our upbringing, but instead, she helpd us accountable and pushed us to succeed.
She organized the displays at the end-of-summer fair. We could pin prizes at the items we would submit for judging. She was an adivsor to the clubs I was in and always told us where things stood. To this day, she inquires about my life and health. And the authenticity and sincerity with which she asks still humble me. Thank you, Mrs. Anderson!

Denise Peterson
Fargo, ND

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Mentor: Marie E. Aschkar

When I think back of the person who has influenced my life in a more positive way, I can't help thinking of you. Thank you for pulling yourself up, and then for pulling me. From you I've learned that courage, confidence and unconditional love are not the same thing. Thank you for always being there.

Dominique Dor Rogers
Duncanville, TX

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Mentor: Becky Atkinson

Thanking my mentor Becky could be the hardest thing I have ever done. There is no way words by itself can express my gratitude towards her. I met her through my scholarship program a few months ago and I did not realize it until now how appreciative I am that I have met her. She has helped me see that laughing and just hanging out with friends can be a great cure whenever I start feeling negative. She is so optimistic that I don't have a reason to not smile when I hang out with her. She means a great deal to me, just knowing that I have someone to turn to who I know can cheer me up and yet understand me whenever I feel low. Even if we just get together to see a movie or just to eat out, I still feel this burst of confidence that someone is willing to be there for me even if she doesn't have to. I'm grateful that I have this amazing opportunity to have a mentor as great as her. She has taught me to just view the glass as half full and not let that affect me. I will treasure her forever.

Thank you Becky for everything you have done. It means more to me than you will ever know.

Ashley P., age 16
Kansas City, KS

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Mentor: Jamie Baisley

Dear Jamie,
You have shown me how to be a man. You have introduced me to your family and supported me at times when I needed help. Happy Mentor Month and I look forward to all the great years to come!

Elijah H., age 14
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Margarita Baldenegro-Reyes

My mentor was a beautiful, talented and wise woman whom I met when I first attended college as a young 20-something single mother. She was a college counselor, and had an easy-going, nurturing personality. In other words, exactly what I needed at the time, since I was new to the college experience, and could certainly use some guidance. Little did I know at the time that this woman would become like a second mother to me, gently holding my hand through some treacherous trials and tribulations. Her door was always open to me, and I often took free advantage. She never complained, although I'm sure at times I leaned on her a bit too much. Patience should have been her middle name.

Sadly, after I left college, we lost contact, but I never forgot her. I also never thanked her properly, and even now that I'm doing so publicly, words can never express the depth of my gratitude to this lovely woman. I often think about the words of wisdom she relayed to me about one of the most important lessons that college teaches you, and that is to persevere, no matter what. I have taken those words to heart, and they carried me all the way to my bachelor's degree, and beyond. I also share them with others whenever I have a chance. Because it occurs to me, that the highest form of honor we can pay to our mentors is to pass on to others the wisdom they so freely gave to us. So I thank you, Margarita, a thousand times squared, for everything you gave me, and may you always be blessed with the best this universe has to offer to one as special, gifted and wonderful as you are.

Smiles and peace,
Luana Higuera

Luana Higuera
Torrance, CA

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Mentor: RosaLee "Mama" Barnett

After being born 3mos. premature and during a time (1960's) when it was unthinkable for a girl 13 years old to have sex and then have a child, it was you Mama who was there for me. After my real father denied my existence, again it was you "Mama" who protected me. Throughout my life everything I do and everything I say has always been a direct result of your teaching and goverment over my life. Every stage of my growth you were always there giving me true life examples of the kind of citizen I would need to be in order to make it in this world. As a result of your sacrafice for me and my mom and you allowing both of us a chance grow up under your "Love" and "Support" I can honestly say had it not been for God working through you "I" would not be the "Man" that I am today. "Mama" thank you for my life! I want you to know that I can see my way today because of you. You made me a true "Giver" and it's all becasuse of "You." Thank You "Mama" - I trust you are enjoying JESUS.

Kevin Whitlow
Clearwater, FL

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Mentor: Kathleen Basye

Katheleen was not only my supervisor and my mentor, but she was also my friend. She taught me patience and positivity. Her caring in my success has made me the successful individual I am today now working with mentoring the youth in our communities. Thank you Katheleen for your influence in my life...

Jamie Anderson
Manteca, CA

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Mentor: Tito Batista

As a student at SUNY Oneonta, I have had many great opportunities. Majoring in Music Industry with a minor in Audio, I am seeking a career in the entertainment industry. I am a composer/musician of over 12 years.
Currently, I am interning with Black Rose Productions, Inc., located in the Law firm of Tierney & Tierney, Attorneys at Law. I am Tito Batista's Executive Assistant. Mr. Batista has been an exemplary mentor to me because of his work, professional, and personal ethics. Mr. Batista ensures that my internship be as entertaining as it is educational.
I review music-publishing contracts and am the liaison between their four current French international interns. It's a challenge facilitating their internship. At Black Rose I have also encompassed tasks including A&R, marketing, and PR.
Mr. Batista made an appointment for me at BMI, Broadcast Music Inc., in NYC. There, I met with the Assistant VP of International Relations, Ms. Consuelo Sayago. Ms. Sayago mentored me in the ever-changing and demanding field of music business. She helped me plan my remaining years in school, as well as my post-education in which I will be looking for an entry-level position in the field of music industry. Ms. Sayago was a remarkable executive to meet and gave me much insight.
Through Black Rose Productions, Inc. I plan to meet with Republican Congressman Peter King, currently serving his 9th term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Black Rose Productions, Inc. has been everything and more than what I had expected. Usually, internships involve answering e-mails and going out for coffee runs, but this opportunity has given me a head start into seeing how the music business world operates. It has been a truly rewarding experience for me to be a part of this successful company.

Joseph Miller
Middle Island, NY

Through the course of my internship at Black Rose Productions, Inc., my supervisor, Tito Batista, has taken the role of my mentor. The first week that I was working for him, he gave me the task of hosting a book signing event at the Cold Spring Harbor Library. This had me jumping into a field I was unfamiliar with, working with new programs, and giving me insight on how to produce an event such as this. Tito had full confidence that I could do the job. This confidence also was shown when he asked me to be a camerawoman for the Uppercut concert/fireworks show in Eisenhower Park. These new opportunities opened my eyes to what I am capable of. I look forward to learning as much as I can from Mr. Batista as I continue on with my internship.

Ashley Oates
Port Jefferson, NY

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Mentor: Gertrude "Trudy" Batiste

My mentor is a friend, a support system, a cheerleader, like family to me and most of all an inspiration and the "wind beneath my wings." Trudy and I have known each other for over twenty years. She is not only my sorority sister, but has been the person who is always there for me through the years. She not only inspires me to make a difference in the lives of others, but she leads by example. My children admires her and other respect and love her. Thanks Trudy for being the "positive energy" in my life and supporting me in all my endeavors.

Lady Claudette Cochrane Lewis
San Antonio, TX

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Mentor: Jack Beaumont

Thank you Jack for everything. You've turned my life around!.

Greg Wilson
Trenton, NJ

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Mentor: Violet Begay

My mentor taught me that everything in the world has consequences. Also that everything that happens in the world happens for a meaning not one accident.

Kathleen Thompson
Cortez, CO

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Mentor: Earl Bell

Mr. Bell was a high school social studies teacher of mine who was able to "reach" me intellectually. I regard him as an important mentor for doing this. I attended a private high school and as a sophomore I, and many of my fellow students, were becoming closed minded and elitist in our attitudes. Mr. Bell openly and aggressively challanged this mindset. We absolutely hated him for this and vowed to make complaints so that the school would fire him. Then one day he gave us a pop quiz which everybody flunked. The very next day he gave us the exact same test and everybody flunked again. And then we got the lecture of our lives: "How could you fail at something and then not immediately go and correct that when it is within your power to do so?" This totally deflating experience opened up my mind intellectually, so that I started to become curious and excited about everything. From that moment Mr. Bell became my favorite teacher. I made sure I attended his classes and signed up for extracurricular activities that he hosted for the rest of my high school career. I've never forgotten him. Thank you Mr. Bell!

Robert Skeeles
Hamden, CT

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Mentor: Patricia Billings

Patricia has been the best kind of mentor I can imagine: Not only has she guided, advised, listened to, encouraged, and even employed me, but she has also mentored by example. She has let me into her life, shared with me her own successes, strategies, and challenges, and she has become my friend. She's someone I admire very much, and I would not be where I am today without her.

Eleise Jones
Brooklyn, NY

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Mentor: Bob Blackwell

Bob hired me into my first management job. He helped me to understand how to stay focused on success while navigating the challenges of corporate America. Thank you, Bob, for being a great role model.

Roger Madison
Gahanna, OH

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Mentor: Rus Blemker

Rus, I want to thank you for being there for me. You are a great mentor and you are fun too. You are important to me because you are what I want to be when I grow up. If I need help I go to you. What makes you special is that you know how to have fun. Also, I want to hang out more often. I want to know if you could teach me drafting. You are a great mentor to me and I want to thank you.

Gabriel, age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Sue Bombrys

In elementary and middle school I was a horrible student. Sue Bombrys was our middle school principal. She took me under her wing in a way. I remember her never giving up on me... even when my family life was horrible and I was acting out because of that. She would always make time to say hi to me in the hallways or even in the lunch room.I think that her always being nice to me and believing in me let me prosper and I did end up graduating in the top 13 of my class!! And I did go to a great college and got an alright job for now. Now that I graduated from High School... I dont really know where she is ... but I would love to say THANK YOU and tell her that she is a GREAT person!!!! I really wish that people who mentor knew how much they impact a life of a child... because they do!!

**And thanks to all of those people that donate their time and effort in helping I was once!! Thanks!!

Samantha Anglemyer
Mendon, MI

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Mentor: Beth Boyd

Practical phrases like, "you can't make the illogical, logical" have been constant reminders for those rough days. I will always remember the conversations we had as you encouraged my professional growth. You challenged me beyond my comfort zone and almost to the edge but I know that those experiences shaped me into the professional I am today. I try to make the same impact on the students that I work with...challenge them, support them and remind them that they are strong enough to do anything. Thank you Beth...I'll forever be grateful.

Terri Thayer
Nooksack, WA

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Mentor: James Boyd

Growing up in a single parent home, I needed some positive male influences, that need was met by several men but one in particular stands out to me. Mr. James (Jim) Boyd was the Director of youth programs for the Indianapolis Urban League, I met him while in the sixth grade at Indianpolis Public School # 45. He taught me to always make good decisions and to think through possible outcomes before making choices. He will never know the indelible impression he left on my life. Much of my desire to help young people is the result of his unrelenting commitment to my sucess. Today I am a husband, father, and Pastor, because he took time to invest in my life, and I feel obligated to share the same principles with others. Thanks Mr. Boyd

Vionnta Traylor
Anderson, IN

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Mentor: Larry Boyd

Dr. Boyd,
You advised and guided me by your words and by your actions. You exemplify every part of the word, integrity. I respect and admire what you have done in your lifetime. You have treated others with respect and kindness and have always strived to do so without calling attention to yourself.
Most Respectfully - Mary Louise Gonzalez

Mary Louise Gonzalez
Laredo, TX

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Mentor: Shirley Boyd

I had the fortunate experience of being mentored by my own mother. My mother spent countless hours of time encouraging, instilling and motivating me to go beyond the norm. I was taught the value of a good education and how to apply the learned material. My mother instilled and helped to develop leadership skills necessary for my future. She challenged me to expand my thinking beyond average and strive for the best. I learned that life though it holds many turns can be lived to the fullest. My mother worked with children from less fortunate families by tutoring them, exposing them to cultural activites etc. She believed in charity and goodwill and lived her life accordingly.
Thanks Mom for your hardwork and great example!

Valencia Luckett
Houston, TX

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Mentor: Joanne Brabham

Mrs. Brabham was my amazing high school guidance counselor. She is one of my biggest role models. At a time in my life when I was lost and confused, she pointed me in the right direction. She gave me a sense of purpose when I needed it most. She believed in me and made me believe in myself. Mrs. B told me to not let others stand in the way of doing what I really wanted to do. She taught me so much about strength, courage and wisdom. She gave me an extra push, and I personally think that it was the little things that had such a profound effect; like her genuine smile, her warm words of encouragement or just turning something negative into a positive. If there were more people in the world like Mrs. Brabham, it would surely be an even more wonderful place.

Leena Hasbini
Riverview, FL

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Mentor: Stephanie Britt

You are the best cheerleading coach ever. You have taught what hard work and dedication brings. Thank you soo much.

Deonnah D., age 16
Savannah, GA

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Mentor: Beth Brodley

I picked my mom [as my mentor] because she has taught me so much throughout my life. She has always been there for me and she's a great role model for me because she is a strong independent women. She has supported me through good times and bad. I love you!

Sarah L., age 16
Savannah, GA

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Mentor: Kristen Brown

Dear Ms. Brown,
,I consider you my mentor because you enhance my abilities with your encouragement, kindness, compassion, patience, always having a happy face. You have been a large part of what I am today. Thank you and I will NEVER forget you. I enjoy your class so much, it has been my favorite since I started school many years ago. Thank you for helping me with the details of graduation, it means so much to me to be able to participate with my peers and have your reassurance. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Christopher Lee Reynolds
Grants Pass, OR

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Mentor: Latosha Brown

As I reflect over my life, I can recall the profound impact that other people have had in molding me into the person I am today. In particular, I remember a young woman meeting me through an after school program in high school and immediately taking a keen interest in my development. Destined to be a negative statistic, she decided to channel my energy into positive activities. Through no formal program, she became my big sister and best friend. Picking me up from school, encouraging my involvement in school and community activities, providing a listening ear and engaging me in forums to develop my leadership skills, she showed me that I could be a better person.

Although always a participant in community service activities, her example of mentoring taught me that I could have a significant impact on someone else's life just by being there. Since that time, we still maintain a close relationship; however, I have dedicated myself to being a burning bush for someone else. In a world of increased crime, gaps in education, and divisions of economic classes serving as a positive role model enables me to be the change I want to see in the world. I love Latosha R. Brown for the difference she made in my life.

Lundy Chancee
Selma, AL

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Mentor: Gloria Browning

My Grandma is an awesome woman - she had a stroke a few years ago and rather than giving up and deciding that she was too old, she got back up and worked on her walking and her mobility. She didn't give up she used the strength God gave her to get herself back together again.
She is one amazing lady and I love her to bits and pieces.

Hannah J.
Bedford, Bedfordshire U.K.

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Mentor: Ed Bruhuert

I would like to thank Ed for his contributions to our robotics team and I greatly appreciate his help and advice over these past six weeks. Your input and assistance was very helpful and we would not have been able to do it without you!

Garrett M., age 17
Overland Park, KS

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Mentor: Zvia Brumer

I've known Zvia since I was five years old. She taught me how to dance, how to be a tap dance teacher and how to be a better person...
thank you

Mandy Kol
Raanana, Israel

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Mentor: Kelly Brumley

Last year you were my teacher. That's all I had thought of you as. This year, however, brought upon me a new realization. You are more than just the person who watched over me during class. You taught me more than just math, you helped me to believe in myself. While in volleyball I started to understand you. I began talking to you as though you were not just another teacher. I love the discussions we have at school, though brief as they may be, there was always a reason to having them. There's one point in your lifetime where you find that one teacher, that one mentor, that helps you think in ways you never knew were true, that they inspire you so much, that you change the paths in your life you were planning to take. You see, in the time I knew you, I became a better person and I found that one person.

Arlina O'Camb
Cortez, CO

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Mentor: Garrett Buchanan

Dear Garrett,
I wanted to take the time to say thank you for everything you have done for me. I've had a lot of fun spending these four years with you being my mentor. I also don?t want our friendship to be over by the end of my senior year. You've done so much for me and I thank you so much for being part my life.

Damien E., age 17
Chicago , IL

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Mentor: Jesse Buendia

Thank you for everything you have done for me and my education. You have helped me with my problems and have pushed me to do what I am capable of. I enjoy spending  time together and when we go to the movies.

Giovanni, age 14
Chicago , IL

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Mentor: Jon Campbell

Dear Jon,
I'm thankful to have you in my life and I appreciate the time and effort you put into being my mentor. I like all the places we go to and all the time we spend together. I thank you for these past two years.

Robert M., age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Gerry Carlon

I was pleased to learn of the observance of National Mentoring Month 2009, but the emphasis on mentoring children caused me to pause. While I certainly agree that we as a collective adult population have a responsibility to our children, mentorship should not be limited to an adult-child relationship. We ALL need mentors throughout our lives to listen and guide us! My own mentor, Gerry, has been an important contributor to my development and growth as I build my career as a social worker. As a seasoned social worker with a wealth of experience, she has helped me navigate my own career and define the kind of person and social worker I want to be. Her mentorship is sincere, natural and represents a gift rarely given so freely.

Laura Savitsky
Arlington, VA

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Mentor: Mary Carpenter

Dr. Carpenter taught my freshman-level Intro to Education class at college. She was unlike any other professor in the Education department in that it was obvious that she loved teaching! She would tell us the funniest stories about when she was a principal- stories I have retold many times.

After I finished her class, I got my first part-time teaching job. I was 19. I couldn't wait to run to her office and share my news! She not only celebrated with me, but she told me everything I needed to know for my first day of teaching:
1. Be firm. Don't let anything slide on the first day.
2. Dress old and don't tell the kids your age.
3. Have the kids make the rules and do something subject-related on the first day.
4. Put the scedule at the front of the room so the kids know exactly what's going to be happening during that class.

I followed her advice to the letter and I'm so glad I did! Throughout the year, I went to her office and asked her how to solve problems I was dealing with at work. Her advice was indespensible. I certainly made a lot of mistakes during my first year teaching, but she gave me the knowledge to start off the year on the right foot and to manage speedbumps along the way. That was the experience I needed to assure me that teaching was right for me.

I will be forever grateful to her for giving me her time, her ear and her advice that I needed to make my first year a success.

Pam Cameron

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Mentor: Ted Childs

Ted has been honoured by many organisations and in many ways, and I want to honour him in his lifetime he taught me that:
1. New beginnings come up all the time - take up the challenge that they bring.
2. Be resilient to change and never a victim, ownership is important to success.
3. Self mastery and introspection will ensure your success, know yourself best and compensate for your shortcomings and capitalise on your strengths.
4. Present your best / always to avoid making mediocrity a way of life.
5. Maturity and confidence come with competence, and you should always work on ensuring that you are competent to deal with issues in your environment and with your reality.
6. Build a strong compementary team and appreciate them, you need others to support you, allow them to do so.
7. It is more than ok to have a life outside of the work environment, this life is not separate from your work and bring in accomodations to allow you to be your best in both your work and family life. A lot of women are managing to have extremely rich lives because of the realisation that it is not just possible but very OK to have a successful work life and a fulfilling family life.
This Ted made possible for many women inside and outside of IBM ? we have to thank you profusely for bringing business to acknowledge and appreciate that.
Thank you for being the passionate, selfless being, always willing to listen and act on behalf of those that needed your intervention in their lives. I know you always make it seem as if I am the only one deserving of the special attention you always have given.
May God continue to bless you abundantly - We love you!

Mpho Letlape
Johannesburg, South Africa

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Mentor: Ms. Christina

My favorite mentor is Ms. Christina. Because... she is staff and it looks fun to be staff she takes good care of children. These are some rules we have...
1. respect yourself.
2. respect others.
3. respect materials.
4. take responsibility for your own actions.
These respect rules make me look up to myself because Ms. Christina shows us those respect rules. I want to be staff.

Daisy A., age 9
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Mazetta Clannigan

I am writing to tell others about the Power of Mentoring and why they should get involved. My mentor the wonderful lady that she was inspired me to want to lead a life of service. In the early 1970's I was a young mother of a son who I had to complete responsibility. I couldn't tell you why this beautiful woman came into my life. I met her quite mysteriously. Ms. Clannigan became a role model and mentor to me. She would ask me what I wanted to be in life. I told her I wanted to go to college, and I was clueless about what it would take to get me there. She took me down to the University of Pittsburgh to meet a gentleman who knew. He listen to my story about being a mother at a young age. In fact, my son was at my graduation from High School. I enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh's School of Social Work because I always had the desire to help others. I graduated four and one half years later with a degree in Social Work. The extra half year was only due to an opeation that I had.
If I had not been mentored during this critical time, by this wonderful lady my life would have been totally different. I later started my own business and I returned to graduate school, but dropped out due to the business. Today, I am a Program Director with one of the nations leading non profit organizations and I attribute this and my success to my mentor. I am committed to showing the same mentoring spirit by being a mentor. This email message and inspiration is submited for sharing, my personal story so it will encourage anyone who has given mentoring a just get involved.

Elva Olivis
Pittsburgh, PA

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Mentor: Debbie Clark

WOW, only 300 words to pay tribute to God's gift to me? Everyone needs and "August", from the Secret Life of Bees in their life. So, you are to me, Debbie. The greatest gift to me is just your presence, being there emotionally as well as physically. The many prayers you have uttered on my behalf are alone worth your weight in gold. You have been with me at my worst and you have helped me find my best. You have always been an arrow pointing my focus to the One who my focus should be on. You have known what to do with me when no one else would get messy enough to do something with me. Words fall so short in thank yous and matters of the heart. Know my arms are outstretched always with thanks and love hugs to you, my mentor, my friend. You have been the strong sheltering tree to lean against, fight against, eat fruit from, rake leaves around, carve my name into, and help me to be a little seed to be planted in my heart and next to you. I want to be a counselor now because of you. If I can be a thimble full of the therapist you are, I'll be ok.

Wendy C
Sumter, SC

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Mentor: Lynda Clark

To you,
You know that I am feisty, selfish, and controlling.
You know that I am kind, giving and hopeful.
You know that I don't have time and never will.
You know that I put forward everything that I can to make this place a better world.
You know that it is easy for me to not say a word.
You know that when it matters I can not ever not say a word.
You don't know that I often speak of you.
You don't know that I know what makes me me is you.
You don't know that I love myself because of you.
You don't know everything that you do.
You don't know that this world would not be possible every day if it wasn't for you.
You don't know how incredibly much I LOVE YOU!

Amanda Guthmueller
Spokane, WA

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Mentor: Pete Clark

While at St. Joseph's University, I had a difficult time academically until I was truly challenged to perform at my best. My SAT scores were low and I was highly involved in sports at the time. Before taking a class with Pete, I thought I was doing the best I could do. However, I not only finished his class with an A, but I scored a GPA in my time after that class that was much higher than any previous year. I was guided toward graduate school and now I have a Master's degree, school counselor certification and a school principal certification at age 33. Thanks to Pete I have spent the last 12 years setting myself up for a long career in education that I enjoy and that I look forward to completing. Before his class, these are things I didn't see happening. !

Jack Marcellus
Swedesboro, NJ

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Mentor: Ms. Claudette

Ms. Claudette has helped others by giving them joy when they had none. She has inspired me and many of my friends to make a difference in our community. With her help, I have broadened my range of service and entered in at least 3 organizations that help with leadership, college, and my heritage, which help teens to stay on the right path. At times it may seem as if her work may go unnoticed, but it is quite the opposite; she has made an impact on the people in and around her community. I thank her for everything she has done and the things she will do in the future.
Selena Mitchell

Selena M., age 15
San Antonio, TX

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Mentor: Troy Clements

I am thankful that Troy is my mentor. He is always there for me. I am thankful that he is a part of my life and he lets me be a part of his. I want to thank Troy for doing so much for me.

Leo, age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Cherice Cochrane

My mentor, Cherice Amanda Cochrane, was my best friend. We met each other as neighbors. She was my inspiration, my confidant and friend. At six years old, I believe she was the smartest girl in my class. She taught me how to read and helped me to get over my weaknesses. Since first grade, we were always there for each other. I will never forget the night my dad committed sucide. My dad had planned it all. He asked her mom if I could spend the night with her and took his life that night. We went travelled through life's journey all the way to high school. Cherice not only boosted my self-esteem, she included me in organizations that were designed for African Americans only and encouraged me to live up to my true potential. My mentor and best friend died at the young age of 19 from meningitis at Tulane University, but her legacy lives on in her Mentoring Foundation; Cherice Cochrane Mentoring For Success. Thank you Cherice for seeing my potential and inspiring me to achieve success. I'll always cherish the moment!!!!

Melissa Quintana
San Antonio, TX

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Mentor: Magaly Colimon

I met my fabulous mentor, Magaly, at The School for Film and Television. As my teacher, initially, she taught me that hard work and dedication will get you to wherever you wish to go. Soon after, she shook me with "Why limit yourself? Anything is possible!". She is an extraordinary listener, dreamer, mentor and friend. Even though we are on opposite ends of the States, we still speak quite frequently and I am always the student. Thank you Magaly!

Amber Leone
Burbank, CA

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Mentor: Lee Cook

II would just like to say "thank you" to a woman that almost certainly saved my life. Even though I had many wonderful women that were a part of my life over the years, I still found it necessary to walk down a path of darkness. When I reached a point that I really knew that I needed help, I put all my faith in a power greater than myself that I could not see... that power lead me to my dearest friend and mentor, LeeLee. She is a tiny woman with a huge heart and for some reason she decided that I was worth her love and time. She has shown me unconditional love and acceptance and has helped me find the path of light instead of darkness... I love her much and she will always be one of the biggest influences in my life. I feel that I am who I am today because of her. Thank you LeeLee...

Sara Hoten
Marlinton, WV

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Mentor: Helen Cornio

I would like thank a wonderful mentor & friend who helped guide me to be a better collie breeder. She was always willing to share her knowledge & advice without hesitation. Thank you!

Peggy Howard
Greenfield, MO

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Mentor: Rose Corsaro

Ms. Corsaro was my 5th grade teacher. I loved even the way she held chalk in her hand. She taught science. She coached softball. I was lousy in math and she let me keep score after school watching the games. I messed it up time after time--I just couldn't get it. She was extraordinarily patient with me. I would hang around her class after school. I never knew where she taught after she left our school, but she was a true role model and in that, a very positive teacher. Years later, I taught 5th grade and I taught science and later, math. I still didn't know what the heck I was doing in math. But I knew how to hold chalk like she did, and I knew how to be patient. I know I owe her a lot. She's in heaven now.

Claire King
Bloomington, IN

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Mentor: Charita Crockrom

As a student entering high school in the early 90's, it was a very confusing and turbulent time with a New Jack City type of feel and inner city environment in my Cleveland, Ohio high school. But, it was a love of writing that connected me with my mentor, a teacher named Charita Crockrom who instructed senior English. She taught me, nurtured me and even failed me to make me a better writer and more importantly, a better person. Although my parents were very instrumental in my upbring, in the four years at Collinwood high school, it was Mrs. Crockrom that showed me you could work while obtaining your graduate degree, amibition was a good thing and that values and loving yourself is essential. She gave me the tough love that truly has given me the work ethic that I have today. I still continue to follow her K.I.S.S. it rules when writing, read constantly and remember her "counseling sessions". Thank you Mrs. Crockrom!

Dorian Harriston
Columbus, OH

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Mentor: Susan Curry

I thank you Susan for being an awesome mentor. You are a great person with an awesome heart. I appreciate everything you have done for me. I also want to thank you for caring for me and always supporting me. I am so thankful to have you in my life.

Taz, age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Phoebe Czachor

I am grateful that Mrs. Czachor is helping to make my school day happier. Now I feel so special and look foward to school. I am getting the confidence to stand up for myself with the girls who make me unhappy. I love Mrs. Czachor she was my kindergarten teacher and now she is my mentor. I can't wait until my school has the next mentoring event. Until then, I will go into Mrs.Czachor's classroom every morning for a great, big, warm and cozy hug!
I Love you Mrs. Czachor!
Love Isabella F.

Isabella F., age 6
Hauppauge, NY

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Mentor: Brice D.

One of the most important person in my life is my father. He's helped me through a lot, and always was there for me. He means the world to me.

Breeanna D., age 16
Detroit, MI

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Mentor: Jack Davis

I met Mr. Jack Davis through a mentoring program as part of a scholarship that I received at the California State University of Monterey Bay, where I attend school at. Our first meeting was at Border's and was meant for us to get acquainted and to discuss what it was that I expected from the program. Neither of us had ever been a part of anything like this before, so we didn't really know what to expect. He asked me what I wanted from him as a mentor, and I said that I wanted to know exactly what I would be doing after I graduated. Ever since that day, he has set up appointments, meetings, and tours with different local accounting departments and firms. It has given me an opportunity to network with people and also get a better idea of what type of company I would like to work for as an accountant. He did more than what I asked and expected from the program. What really struck me was when he and his wife took extra time in addition to mentoring me to get my daughter a few things for Christmas. I really feel that I am extremely lucky to have been paired up with Mr. Davis. I will be forever grateful and appreciative for everything that he has done for me and my family in the short time that we have known each other, and I sincerely hope that we remain connected for many years to come. Thank you Mr. Davis, you are a wonderful mentor!

Sean Capistrano
Marina, CA

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Mentor: Paulette Davis

I want to thank you for being a special close friend of mine since first grade.
You always listened, shared, did not judge, comforted me in my times of despair, remembered me at special times, and are an upbeat person.
Your words of wisdom from your own life experiences have been a special blessing to me!

Betty Hohman
Lavonia, GA

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Mentor: Dawn

She helps me dance a new dance every Monday and Tuesday. She is very nice.

J'Nelle G., age 8
Pooler, GA

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Mentor: Brody Dawson

I am very thankful for my mentor because she gives me advice. She also helps me stay on track. She is a very important role model to me and is like a sister. She always makes sure I am okay. I really want to say thank you to my mentor.

Jerrenia, age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Dennis Decasas

I have struggled through the educational system since middle school. Once I arrived to Mr. D's program, he showed so much interest in me and knew I was special enough to succeed in school.
You always stopped to listen to what I had to say and when I want to share something with you, you show genuine interest.
You have changed my life tremendously.
Thank you and keep on 'Fishing.'

Chris R., age 17
Grants Pass, OR

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Mentor: Donna Dees

My Mentor PR Superstar Donna Dees. A savvy career woman, a dedicated mother, an endless ambassador for charities and just an all around awesome person are just some of the ways I would try to describe my mentor Donna Dees. Donna, who has over a 25 year track record in the PR and media industry, gave me a crash course in P.R. and provided me with useful and valuable tools that will undoubtedly carry me through my career. The advice and guidance she shared while I worked with her is invaluable. Donna, who has the remarkable ability of putting everyone around her at ease, is a person who becomes entirely dedicated and enmeshed in whatever project she is currently working on or challenge she is facing. A mentor, a friend, an absolute superstar in the PR world, there is not much more to say other than Donna Dees rocks! Thank you mentor!

Jessica Fielder
New York, NY

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Mentor: Burt Dellinger

Burt came into my life when I joined the agency of which he was a leader. He was instrumental in choosing to add me to his team, or add a familiar colleague. He chose me; the unfamiliar. From the first hour of our working with one another and to this day some fifteen years later; he continues to listen to me. Read my works. Comment on my visual works. Encourage me to continue on through the usual mire a creative encounters. His constant presence in my life, despite geographic distance remains a strong influence of confidence that I am a valued member of humanity, and the arts in our ever changing culture. I thank you Burt, not for where my life may have been had you not mentored me; instead of where my life and talents are because of your strength of character; and the valuable life lesson, "Sometimes its wise to choose the unfamiliar."

Forest Henry Book
Frederick, MD

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Mentor: Mitchell Dent

Mr.Dent he's my coach for golf. I picked him to be my mentor because he helps me to become a better golfer. He helps me to become a better golfer by telling me what I'm doing wrong. Sometimes I don't want to listen to him, but I do because I want become a better golfer.

Juwuan B., age 13

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Mentor: John Derosia

Coach Derosia was a mentor to me throughout my four years in high school. He started as my JV hockey coach and eventually became someone that I could go to for anything. Coach Derosia is someone who I admire in the way that he works, his effort, his attitude, and most imortantly the way he leads. As an Assistant Principle in the high school I went to, he was not someone who wouldn't intimidate the students so they didn't cause problems, but he got to know most of the students who he worked with and this was his way of keeping order within the school. Coach Derosia was a man who I have looked up to for the past four years, and he played a main role in making me the person that I am today. I hope that I can have the same influence on the people that I work with this semester and throughout the rest of my life, as Coach Derosia did on me.

Todd DeAngelo
Hampden, MA

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Mentor: Stacy Devine

Dear Stacy,
There's someone in my life that chose to be there and spend special time with me. That someone is you! We've had ups and downs, but we made it and developed a friendship. I appreciate the times when you took me out to eat and the informative conversations we've had. Thank you for who you are and for being in my life.

DelMarie N., age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: John Dicello

Hey John!
As part of National Mentor Month, I am thankful for all your time and support you have given me. I'm thankful that you attend my games and that you take an interest in my activities and studies. I'm thankful that you encourage me to do well and be the best I can be.

Adam S., age 16
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Roxann Dittmer

My mentor, my best friend, my wonderful, my angel. You've saved me from myself; you've saved me from others. You know everything about me and more. You can make any day better just by smiling, you can bring me out of my own misery just by talking. I can't imagine life without you. You're my teacher, my watchful eye, my shopping buddy, my momma! To you I say thanks. You have taken care of me when I needed you. You opened your home and family to me, you've showed me the other side of the world, the true world. You are caring, lovely, opened minded, and sometimes rude, but who isn't when it comes to "the girl?"

You're the one I tell my friends about, the one I admire most. You are braver then a lion, and tougher then any other woman. You help those who need it most, and don't expect any return. You have opened your heart to a lonely child when no one else would. You?ve showed me the way to live without doubt, hurt, or shame. You can cook like a professional and always have something fun to do. I admire you, more then anyone, not just because you showed me light when all I knew was dark, but because you, yes you, are the only person who wont judge me, challenge me, or hurt me. Your support is all I care about, your love is all I need, and the fact that you are proud of me when I do wrong changes my outlook.

I know you won't always be around, I understand that I have to stand on my own, but this girl will always need her momma!

- Remember, every child only needs one person who will listen to them

RaeAnne M., age 17
Cedar Rapids, IA

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Mentor: Grace Dole

I have had many wonderful mentors in my life but the one that stands out most and provided the most powerful influence was my grandmother, Grace Dole. I called her Grandma Dole growing up but when I had children they began calling her Great Grandma Grace, and the "great" fit in several ways. She had a passion for learning that continued on until her last breath at 98. At the time she was a young girl it was not always possible to go to high school. She made sure she got to go by moving to town to live with an aunt and work as a telephone operator so that she could attend high school during the day. After graduating she attended Teacher's College in Dekalb, IL and trained to be a teacher. She taught school in a one-room school. She told me stories of her teaching, her love of learning, and the importance of education. This inspired me to be a teacher myself. Born in 1904, my grandma saw so many changes but embraced them all. At 96 she told me that if her eyes were better she really thought she would have liked to learn about computers. I am in my 30th year of teaching and continue to think of my grandma every day. Through her mentoring, I am inspired to keep learning my whole life and to help others learn, inspiring a new generation of life-long learners.

Denise Tallakson
Cedar Falls, IA

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Mentor: Sara Drake

A mentor should be like a second mother or a good friend to help guide you through the maze of youth and that is exactly what Mrs. Sara Drake of Top Teens of America, the River City Chapter, has been to me.
I first met her through my sisters. Her daughter is a friend of my sisters and they had always spoken so highly of Mrs. Sara.
A few years ago, I had the wonderful opportunity of hearing that Mrs. Sara would be my mentor. From the first time I formally met her, she has been one of the kindest and most influential people in my life. To me, she seems to be full of wisdom, love, and respect for herself and those around her. Every time we meet, I am in awe of how she walks with such grace. Our relationship, as mentor and mentee, works well because our personalities match and blend nicely.
Whenever I had an event and asked if Mrs. Sara if she would like to attend, without delay, she said "yes." She often brought an extra ticket or two in order to support me. Whenever I was in a bind, she would try to find some way to help me. She often gave her time, advice, and love. All of which means so much to me.
I also admire her relationship with God. As long as I have known her, she has attended church faithfully, allowing God to lead her life. She is a blessed and highly-favored woman. Anyone would be lucky to know her and have her has a mentor.
Mrs. Sara Drake, you are a Proverbs 31 woman and I hope to one day be as wise and gracious as you.
Love, Selena Mitchell - Miss Black Texas Talented Teen 2011

Selena Mitchell
San Antonio, TX

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Mentor: Yvette Dufresne

This woman taught me everything from turning on a light switch to being true to yourself. I love her like a mom, she adopted me just a few days before my 15th birthday. She has been through so much for my family and me, she should have her own hall of fame. We had a hard life with our real mother who abused, starved, and neglected us while using drugs. My second mom was there and saved us from that as well as the hard time we had when our dad died. She sets a great example daily through her christian values and love for us. I love and appreciate this woman like the sun.....THANKS MOM!!!

Chelsea H., age 15
San Diego, CA

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Mentor: Sonceria E.

This person is my mother and she has made a very big difference in my life. She is the person that makes me want to get up and make a better life for myself. She is the person that made me think that what I do now is what I will be doing in my future. Also this is the person that gave me life and she wants me to be great and this is why she is my mentor.

Jorden E., age 16
Detroit, MI

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Mentor: Emily Eckman

I had the opportunity to participate in a wonderful mentoring program at work. The objective of the program was to provide self and career development as well as focus on topics such as communication, collaboration and leadership. My mentor, Emily is a wonderful and inspiring lady. I had an opportunity to establish a wonderful relationship with her and use her as a sounding board for many situations I encountered. Emily inspired me to focus on the things I can change and to make a way out of no way. I felt empowered to tackle problems and come up with solutions after finishing this program. I felt encouraged to take on new things; share ideas and build on my leadership skills. Emily is a great coach and I feel it?s mostly due to her approach to situations and the experiences that she shared with me.
Emily, thank you for partnering with me, helping me learn and grow and become a better person and a stronger leader.

Cathy Joseph
Des Moines, IA

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Mentor: Jenny Economos

I am thankful for Jenny because she has supported me and held me in her arms through my toughest times. She’s given me 100% support and hope in everything.  Jenny is important to me because she is like an older sibling who I can go to for advice. She also helps me when I have problems.   My mentor is special because she is the sweetest person I’ve ever met. She is wonderful in everything she does and she always succeeds. She has taken me out to experience different kinds of food, which I think is amazing. I will never forget the memories that we have made together.

Marcella, age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Ruth Edwards-Carr

My life in a Presbyterian Manse made me run all my life to my friend's homes to gather the many pieces necessary to form an ego strong enough to stay alive. Mama Ruth, as I called her, had fiery red hair, a little swimming pool and a heart that recoginized my need to be seen in the world as myself. She once told me that one of the most important things in life was to accept a compliment and feel no shame for the money I earned from her and didn't feel worthy to keep. She wouldn't believe how much hunger she satiated in me as a young girl with no parental parenting in a narcissistic home where warmth always felt cold. As an artist my focus is on supporting and comforting children through books to dispell the most primal fears. Thanks Mama Ruth.

Becky Carey
Wilmington, NC

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Mentor: Suzanne Ehlers

Thank you for joining mentoring and being my mentor. I know you'll always be there for me in the future so I'll just thank you for that now. It's great to come to mentoring because my mom is a tax accountant and it's almost taxes season and I won't get to see her that often anymore until April, so I'll like to talk to someone and have someone help me with homework or school problems. Thank you again so much for being my mentor.

Samantha Seebachan
Marietta, GA

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Mentor: Sheri Ensor

I would like to thank one of the collie breeders that helped shape & direct my breeding program. Sheri was insightful, knowledgeable & caring. She helped me to see the whole dog as a package, not just the bits & pieces. Thanks for being a wonderful friend!

Peggy Howard
Greenfield, MO

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Mentor: Mr. Fairchild

In 7th grade, I had an English teacher at Shivela Middle School who came in half way through the school year. At first, most of the kids in the class were uncomfortable adjusting to a new teacher. After a few week, however, he began to show that he was truly interested in our education by taking the time to review grades and assignments with each individual student. For me personally, this was very empowering because his comments and the time he took to talk with me gave me a sense of confidence in myself that is difficult to find at that age. I will always remember the positive things he had to say and the opportunities he gave me to succeed in his class.

Matt Robins
Temecula, CA

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Mentor: Rese Farrish

My mentor and inspiration is Maj (ret) Rese Farrish. He came into my life as a volunteer to the Cherice Cochrane Mentoring Foundation. Highly recommended by Gen (ret) John D. Hopper, Jr. Rese not only wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people, but he wanted to help continue the legacy of Cherice Cochrane (deceased). With a degree in Law, he used his expertise to incorporate the Cherice Cochrane Mentoring For Success Foundation and gain Tax Exempt status for the Foundation. Rese believed in me and assumed the position as President until his reassignment to Japan. Struggling to keep the Foundation alive, he agreed to provide leadership again in 2007 upon his retirement. Rese, how can I say Thank you for all that you have done in keeping my daughter's legacy alive. Because you believe in me, I am able to cherish her memories and live her dreams of providing young people with caring adults who inspire them!
Claudette Cochrane Lewis

Claudette Cochrane Lewis
San Antonio, TX

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Mentor: Janice Faurie

My first semester here at Texas State, Janice took me under her wing and treated me like family. She helped me through a really rough patch in my life. I was far away from my fiance, dealing with a large college, and also fighting with different members of my family. Janice was always there with an encouraging word or even a hug to settle me down.
Thank you so much for the wonderful things you have done for me! :D I love you dearly and I will never forget you!.

Terri Sinclair
San Marcos, TX

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Mentor: John Feloni

I often remark to my wife how lucky I am. I have been blessed with tremendous parents and a loving family. I am surrounded with friends every day who love and support me. I need to say that, so as not to take anything away from all of them. However, this is about my greatest mentor as an adult, John Feloni. Originally my business hired John to help me to become a better professional, and establish a better working relationship with my parents, as this is a family business. Even though John had known my family for many years, I had no real relationship with him prior to that time. John immediately established trust and helped me realize my potential. He left no stone unturned advising me on much more than business, but on life, fatherhood and being a good husband. I will forever be grateful and never forget him. John is no slouch on his own, his list of accomplishments include, Mr. Teen Massachusetts, published author, former candidate for Governor of Massachusetts, and most noteworthy a very successful father.
Thank you John, I love you dearly.

Thomas Grella Jr.
Methuen, MA

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Mentor: William Fermon

Mr. Fermon was my fifth grade teacher. He was also the first male teacher I ever had. I was mad to find out that I had received him as my teacher because I didn't think his intelligence could live up to my previous female teacher's intelligence. I also expected him to be less understanding and much more firm. However, he taught me that all of my stereotypes were wrong. Today, he has stood out as my favorite teacher who taught me things I could not learn from textbooks. I learned that men are equal to women, and everyone has their own style of teaching.

Roseleen Dello Russo
Revere, MA

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Mentor: Elizabeth Fleming

Dear Liz,
I'm so thankful for having you as a mentor. You are a wonderful and amazing woman. I am so happy you are a part of my life. I love you Liz!

ZaDeja W., age 14
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Phil Fleming

Dear Mr. Fleming,

Thank you for your time and support during the construction of the robot, especially your insight on the creation of the conveyor belt and the front roller. I appreciate your help throughout the construction of the robot and hope to see you again next year.

Caitlin W., age 16
Overland Park, KS

I would like to thank Phil for his contributions to our robotics team and I greatly appreciate his help and advice over these past six weeks. Your input and assistance was very helpful and we would not have been able to do it without you!

Garrett M., age 17
Overland Park, KS

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Mentor: Lilian Fonseca

I would like to write a tribute to one of the most amazing and strongest woman I have ever known. Coming from a household where my mom was taught to be a very passive person I appreciated meeting a woman who knew where she was going how she was going to get there and how to inspire those around her.

Growing up I did not have the easiest of a life. My parents came to this country about 29 years ago and we lived in extreme poverty. It was hard. In the fourth grade I had already recognized that she, Lilian Fonseca was a special person. By the 6th grade I saw her like a mother. A mother who made me feel accepted of who I was and where I came from and how I could only grow stronger because of my challenges. Be resilient. She helped me understand that brown was beautiful and how to embrace my culture. By junior high school she drilled to me the importance of schoolwork and the importance of focusing on my education. By high school I was already giving back and became a high school counselor for 6th graders where she was once again teaching. Before I married, after I married, before I graduated college, before I became a mother and after I became a mother, she has always been there to pull me through. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and I remember weeping like a baby. The mere thought of losing her created a huge void in my heart. She fought for her life and pulled through. I admire her every day and hope to once day be half of the person she is today.

Susy Marron
Santa Rosa, CA

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Mentor: Larry Foster

It was a Friday afternoon in December 1994 when I met for the first time my mentor Larry Foster. I had gone to his office fully expecting that I might have at most 20-30 minutes with him and I was happy and appreciative of whatever he was willing to share with me. I was in for a big surprise! That afternoon Larry very warmly welcomed me into his corner suite office overlooking the north Dallas Tollway in a prestigious office complex. He was casual, friendly and open with his conversation and I was intrigued by his questioning ability and his genuine interest in me. He showed by both his words and actions how down to earth and approachable he was. He invested well over an hour in our first appointment and it was memorable in many ways. That day was the beginning of a long time friendship and mentoring relationship over the past 12 years. During the months and years that have followed that initial meeting Larry has repeatedly given generously of his time, his contacts, his wisdom and his concern for me. He has introduced me to all of his family, his business associates and many of his friends both near and far. He opened doors of introduction that led to business contracts and repeatedly gave me high recommendations. His positive, funny and light hearted humor has endeared him to me and he was one of those who I was able to confide in during the dark hours of my divorce. I honor my friend and long time mentor Larry Foster today on National Mentor Day with this tribute to his influence and support in my life and to thank him for the success I've enjoyed.

George Hendley
Richardson, TX

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Mentor: Laura Fox

The teen years are often the hardest for many but when you grow-up in an abusive home it's so much more difficult to find resources you can trust.
I don't even know if my mentor would ever use the title "mentor" to describe our relationship, but she was certainly that special person in my life during a time when I needed anyone just to notice me.
Most of the time we would just sit and talk over a cup of tea, or she would ask me to assist her with something she really never needed help with. It was in those moments that I learned what kind of woman I wanted to become.
She would smile from across the street and brag about my little achievments to her family. Each time she provided me with a little visability and I will forever be greatful!

Florence Parks
Vallejo, CA

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Mentor: Don Freer

Dear Don, Thank you so much for teaching me a lot of things. You've taught me a lot about bowling and water sports - like knee boarding - and you've taken me to many cool things like Braves games, Falcons Games, and Dave & Busters. The coolest moment of my life is when I caught that foul ball by Andruw Jones at the Braves game with you! It has meant a lot to me to have you in my life. I've been able to brag about you to everyone and everyone is jealous that I have such an awesome big brother! Even though I've lost my Dad, I am so blessed to have you as my big brother! Your Little,

David Axford
Marietta, GA

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Mentor: Brandy Fuller

She supports me and gives me a nanny. She cooks for me and yells at my brother he argues with me. She makes my sister stop screaming when I'm trying to go to sleep. She helps me in games when I'm up to bat. And she teaches me tons of stuff. And she helps me with my homework so I can get it right. She lets me eat a doughnut before dinner. She supports me at the football games when I'm cheerleading. I LOVE YOU MOM!

Hailey F., age 7
Savannah, GA

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Mentor: Rick Garmon

Hey dad, just wanted to say thank you for teaching me and guiding me through life.n

Anthony Garmon
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Jerry Garvin

Jerry "G Force" Garvin

My mom named you my Godfather, I now know why. You have a great advocate for me and my brother. I don't think there have ever been a time that you did not come through. You gave me my first book of airplanes and you showed more love for the craft than I had ever seen even to this day. Because of you, I have to decided to make flying airplanes my career choice. I've researched every aircraft there is. I've enjoyed all the fun outings with you too, the fairs, Six Flags, museums, parks, ball games, promotions, moves, library, and many holidays dinners, not to mention all the stories. I love you. Brian

Brian B., 14
San Antonio, TX

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Mentor: Rev. Raphael Gibbs

I give thanks to Rev. Gibbs for taking the time to impart in my life. He has tought be to be truthful and firm in my belief. He has encouraged me in tough times evn dealing with family issues. He has taught me to stand firm in the Word of God. I thank him for reaching out to me.
Bless you Bishop

Desmond Wellington
Cleveland, TN

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Mentor: Dave Gilcreast

In times when I struggle to do the right thing or make the right decision, I can always count on Dave to lead me in the right direction. His wisdom and knowledge justifies the hows and whys of a particular situation, which then helps me to make a correct evaluation of my own. If I differ with his opinion he helps me to see another side, but more importantly he is teaching me to be more open-minded.
I know mentoring can be a hassle and someimtes time consuming, but your warmth, helpfulness, and kindness always makes me feel better about most everything.
Thank you for being my mentor- I am indebted to you and I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

Kathy Caruso
Pelham, NH

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Mentor: Jodi Goff

My mentor is my third grade teacher. I am now in the fourth grade. Mrs. Goff is always there for me. We talk about how I am doing in school. She is always there to help me with some problems that I have. I can always come to her and trust her with my secrets. Mrs. Goff always help me work through things. She encourages me to work hard in school and not to give up. When I have done something extra good in school, I always come and share it with Mrs Goff. She is always very proud of me and she often gives me prizes. I especially like the candy in her prize box. Mrs. Goff and I have spent fun times together. We made a gingerbread house and played games at our holiday party. We have also eaten breakfast together. We play games and talk a lot. Last week we played basketball. Mrs. Goff didn't let me win because we played fairly. She is always very fair with me. She teaches me to work hard at everything I do. The game was actually a tie. We had a fun time. I am looking forward to spending much more time with my mentor. I feel happy and safe knowing that I can always count on her. Maybe I'll even win a basketball game.

Najeer M., 9
Elmont, NY

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Mentor: Counselor Goldstein

Dear Counselor:
My counselor has helped me in everything I am supposed to need help with. She gives me examples in life about what to do and what not to do that is why I thank my counselor for everything she has taught me.

Isaias G., Age 12
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Aidyl Gonzalez

You are someone anybody would want on their team. You have an infectious energy of positivity and an insane amount of leadership ability. Thank you for mentoring Team 4019 soooo much.

Dillon R., Age 16
West Hollywood, CA

I am so thankful to have Aidyl Gonzalez in my life. She has done so much for me and also my school. She has opened many new doors for me and exposed me to many things I never dreamt of achieving. She devotes a huge portion of her time in running my schools robotics team and in doing so created an award winning team. This team revolves around Aidyl, without her we wouldn't function properly or even exist. She is an inspiration, the person I strive to be in my future.

Henry R., Age 17
Los Angeles, CA

Dear Aidyl,
I wanted to thank you for showing me that I am capable of reaching my goals. You have taught me how to achieve my full potential in life and I am truly grateful. It is an honor to be your student.

Jake W., Age 16
Encino, CA

Aidyl, you have been a tremendous help all the way through my school career. You offered an approach that was blunt, fun, and helped me learn. I can't thank you enough for starting the robotics program. It's helped me in more ways than one.


Zach D., Age 16
Santa Monica, CA

I'm not good at thank yous, but thanks. Thanks for guiding me, as well as the rest of the team, through competitions.

Max, Age 13
Los Angeles, CA

I am grateful to you for both the inspiration and knowledge you have given me. I appreciate all that you do for the robotics team and the entire school community. Whether in time or enthusiasm, you are always there. There is a lot that can be learned from someone like you.

John C., Age 15
Studio City, CA

From the bottom of my heart: Thank you. You gave me the opportunity to rise above what I had previously accepted. Giving me the chance to get into your class and achieve a higher understanding of chemistry. Thank you for believing in me when I doubted myself and for supporting me when I needed help.

Matt S., Age 16
Tarzana, CA

Aidyl is an amazing mentor who has helped me grow and learn so much inside and out of robotics and class. She is an amazing team leader, teacher, and advisor.

Love you Aidyl! You rock!

Nicholas T.
Sierra Madre, CA

Aidyl, Your boundless energy and enthusiasm is an inspiration to behold. You have given our students such a blessing. Helping channel their creativity, energy and their natural love of learning for the second year in a row. Leading this years Robotics team to another great season. Thank you for helping my son begin to realize his potential, showing him how hard work can be rewarding as well as fun and how he can accomplish anything if he puts his mind to it!!

Annie Wetherbee
Sherman Oaks, CA

I am thankful for my mentor Dr. Aidyl Gonzalez, for encouraging anyone on their path to success, and putting in effort above and beyond the required for her students. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have ever thought there was a place for me in a technical career, or that I had the drive inside to do it. The extra time, effort and reinforcement you give is appreciated immensely.

Kailee F., Age 16
Burbank, CA

Thank you so much for mentoring me and all of the robotics team. As your student in 9th grade, you inspired me to join the robotics team and ever since then I have had so much fun and I have also learned so much. There is no way to thank you enough.

Daniel H., Age 16
Los Angeles, CA

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Mentor: Nora Graham

Dear Nora,
I am so thankful for you because you have been there for me. You take time out of your day to come and see me. You have been there for me when I need someone to talk to. Because of you, my grades could not have been better. Thank you for everything and I love you.

Montiana S., age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Natalie Gray

Natalie Gray, the best Mentor for me! she has made a tremendous contribution in my life spiritually, physically and emotionally. I thank God often for the Godly woman that he has placed in my life. She saw the potential, beauty, and strength that I possesed within even when I didn't always see it and in spite of decided to deal with my stubborn attitude. Because of her influence I am strongly considering mentoring. I'm thankful for her and always will be!

Quanshay H.
Baltimore, MD

Natalie Gray, the best mentor perfect just for me. She has had such a tremendous contribution to my life spiritually, physically, and emotiionally. I thank god often for the Godly woman he has placed in my life to help steer me in the right direction. Natalie has seen the inner beauty, strength, and potential that I possesed when it was sometimes hard for me to see it myself. I am thankful and always will be for patience in dealing with my sometimes stubborn attitude and just being there to support me in whatever decisions I decided to make regarding my career path and much more.

Lady Bug Henderson
Baltimore, MD

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Mentor: Dan Green

Dear Dan,
I am grateful to have you as mentor because throughout my four years here at Holy Trinity High School, you have been a great support. I have grown more mature as a person, gained responsibility, and become more independent. That is why I want to take time to thank you for helping me.

Marcell Johnson
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Nadine Griffin

My mentor is inspiring and the coolest teacher I know. If I ever needed anthor mentor, I would want Ms. Griffin, nobody else. Even though, I've been spending time with Ms.Griffin for only a short peorid of time, the best part of being with her is doing fun things together like going on the computer, and talking with Ms.Griffin about so many different things. I really liked when we painted each other's nails. I feel like Ms. Griffin is my friend or an older sister.

Novel Campbell
Elmont, NY

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Mentor: Jacob Grossetti

I really had a great time being your mentee. You've been a great inspiration to help me be a young successful business person. Thank you for volunteering to be my mentor.

Chris J., age 14
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Judith Gupton

During the mid to late 70's I transitioned from middle school to high school. During my middle school days I was a good student...did after-school activities. The difference... my best friend was my big brother...and I'm the little sister. So I did "boy stuff" most of the time and dressed that way most of the time too. Elementary school was that way too unless I had an event to attend with my Great-Aunt Mary and Great Great Aunt Mary Elizabeth which meant wearing white gloves, hat, patent leather know the whole business. By high school I was sent to charm class with Ms. Gupton who was also my 9th grade homeroom and English teacher. She was very poised and polished just like my Aunt Lizzie. She spoke very carefully not to offend or for the person to lose clarity. I really didn't want to go to her class. I liked the way I was...changing was out. Ms Gupton became my mentor. She would correct my word usage and my way of dressing. She did it all without saying it was unexceptable...rather than that she would say "Do you think this is appropriate and why?" When you run out of silly does see it's time to change. I did and became the better for it. I do the same pattern she taught me back then still today. When I see Ms. Gupton from time to time I always look to her finesse and leadership. She has taught me to present myself well at all times in manner and speech.

Mary Monica Porter
Wilmington, DE

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Mentor: Eddie Hagan

Eddie Hagan was my Basketball/Soccer Coach(and friend) from Middle school through Junior High School. He not only coached me in the skills of sport but he also taught me how to be respectful and helpful to others in my life. He took me to MLB San Francisco Giants games and local College games just to show me what was out there in the world. He may not have known it but he showed me what a father should be to a child. I never had a father but thanks to him I will know how to treat my child when it is born in July. While my wife and child may not ever have the chance to meet him they will forever be in his thanks. He does not know how influential he was in my life but his kindness will live on for another generation if not more. Thank you Eddie for all the little things you did for me that will end up helping my future child. I will always be appreciative and thankful for your kindness to my family and me. Thank you.

Jack Cuddy
San Francisco, CA

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Mentor: Marvin Hagwood

My Mentor was my son-in-law. A scholar and a gentlemen who pushed forward to help and encourage the young black men to become iron sharpened iron. To see life in a positive not in a negative, striving to make life better. As he used himself as an example with a spinal cord injury, everyday he faced trials with the strength of God placing one foot in front of the other as his path was directed. He encouraged in Church, in Stores, in Barber Shops, in Credit Union, and to Neighbors -- his vineyard ran down montainsides and through valleys. Also instilling gentlemenly qualities in his two young boys and qualities in ways his two young women should act, respectfully. Brother Hagwood's overwelming concern for others was not a selfish road he left a trail where he went spreading the postive word and words. My son-in-law caught an infection while in surgery last year at the age of 50 and was called home to be with the Lord. Oh what a loss, but his words go on. My son-in-law Marvin L Hagwood.

Nettie Peters
Dale City, VA

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Mentor: Leann Hanshaw

My relationship with Mrs. Hanshaw began when she was my 5th grade teacher. Because of impaired vision I had worn VERY thick glasses and been bullied since kindergarten. The one way I found escape was through singing. Mrs. Hanshaw encouraged me to sing and made such an impression that I auditioned for the school musical and was cast as Mary Poppins. The play was a pivotal point in my life, as was being fitted with contact lens.
Mrs. Hanshaw was so supportive of each step I took in life. I always had a dream of competing in Miss America, she even wrote in my 5th grade album that she would see me sing on TV one day "in the Miss America Pageant." Through the years I became close friends with her son and conitinued to rely on her support and advice. At age 22 she did watch me sing on TV at the Miss America pageant. She ALWAYS believed in the little girl who was bullied and taunted for not being pretty.
Mrs. Hanshaw's belief in me helped me to gain confidence and realize at an early age that CHARACTER counts far more than appearance. At age 33 I went through a devastating divorce and ONCE again Mrs. Hanshaw was there to offer advice and support. In making life decisions she was one person I always wanted to make proud, I hope I did.
Thank you Mrs. Hanshaw for being a constant in my life.

Paula Montgomery-Swindle
Conway, AR

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Mentor: Sarah Haque

Dear Sarah,
I am thankful for all the good advice that you have always given me and also being there for me when I needed you. You are a great person and anyone should be grateful to have a mentor and friend like you. I enjoy all the time we spend together because I learn new things from you. I hope that you stay cool and awesome as always.

Mayra M., age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Jeff Hardy


Jhanett T., age 11
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Douglas Harper


Pauline Pitts
Lawndale, CA

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Mentor: Nicole Harris

I am thankful for Nicole because she has taught me how to be a young lady. Nicole is important to me because she is a person that I can trust and talk to. My mentor is special because she is like another mother. She helps me keep up with school.

Tamara, age 16
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Matt Harvey

Matt, thank you for being there through the bad and good days of my life. You are very important to me because I really need the support. You are a very special guy and I am thankful to have you as a mentor.

Chris, age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Giordan Haslam-Lindsey

Dear Giordan:
You have guided me in the right direction the day you were born. You patiently showed me what you knew and how to help you, though you could not speak. You often called me your hero...but you were actually mine. You picked up my hand and kissed it, the day you realized you could read. I didn't know another human being could communicate with such force, clarity and see, I couldn't understand how a child born with cognitive impairments, a child who couldn't speak or hear, a child born with the diagnosis of Down's syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder could and would have such a life altering inspirational inpact on me. My impatience, bigotry, hatered, and know-it-all attitude blinded me. You opened my eyes, but most of all you opened my heart to life and the real meaning of love. I love you with all my heart, Thank you!

Rose Haslam
Lawndale, CA

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Mentor: Pastor Janiro Hawkins

I would like to pay homage to my mentor Pastor Janiro Hawkins. He came into my life during my early 20's and immediately became a male figure that was encouraging, inspiring, always teaching, loving, and most of all giving. I was given many opportunities to walk through doors that may not have been possible. The exposure to new environments and people from all walks of life, gave me the experience needed to thrive in all surroundings(social, corporate, political, faith based). I attribute my successes and ability to love and care for others to all that I saw him give and do without question. Pastor Hawkins has always had a caring heart for others and therefore became a major spearhead in the community. I appreciate all of the time, effort, and energy that he put into shaping me in order to become the person I am today.
Lots of Love

Alexis Jackson
Richmond, VA

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Mentor: Travis Haynie

"Aunt MIMI" is what I called her for many years of my life. She is my mother's youngest sister, and she means the world to me. She never had it easy , or so I was told, but to me she always was so happy. Every day I would go to my grandma's house and be so happy to see her. She went away to college when I was like 6 and I missed her like crazy, and through all her rough times she was always there for me no matter what. She taught me that it's ok to be sad and it doesnt mean its the end of the world.
~ I love you Millie

Pattie B., age 17
Pocatello, ID

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Mentor: Travis Haynie

My mentor is Mr.Travis. He is very helpful and great with all of us hear at the Boys and Girls Club. He helps us with anything, and he has given us great advice to me and my friends when we need it. His advice really helps us with anything, like if we have a problem we can come up to him and he will give us advice to help us in ower life. He is very smart, successful, and helpful. I want to be successful and smart when i grow up. Thats why hes my mentor.
Thanks Mr.Travis, for everything you have helped me with.

Alna G., age 13
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Regina Hedgepeth

What is a mentor? A person who shows concern, empathy, dedication, extends himself/herself beyond the call of duty to ensure the success of another individual without the anticipation of payback. This is my mentor, Regina Hedgepeth. We met each other in 1995 and have been in each others lives every since. She saw potential in me and acted both responsively and quickly to help put me on a path for my career success. We worked together for a couple of years until we both started receiving promotions in different offices and federal agencies. However, this did not stop her from continuing to reach out to me with the same initial empathy and dedication. As a result, I have excelled in my career as a employee for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission serving in various progressive positions for which I am forever thankful that our paths crossed! She has stepped up and worked beyond the call of duty for me. Therefore, she exhibits the attributes that a mentor should possess.

Alesha Bellinger
Germantown, MD

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Mentor: Dr. Dorothy Height

Dr. Height as she is referred to throughout the world, and I connected 16 yrears ago at a public event where she was speaking about the importance of securing the Black Family. I was captivated by her energy, love, compassion and committment to helping to enhance the lives of women and their families. Thus helping the world.
Dr. Height modeled the selfless joy and spirit that I strive to emulate every day. Regardless of who the headliner is, within the Nation, and in communities, Dr. Heights attention and intention remains clear. How do I help and support women and their families? She continues to be a woman of credibility and substance. She is a woman with a heart that beats for our people. Dr. Height is my Mentor, my Teacher, my Mother, my Friend and I love her for simply being the eyes, ears and hands of God.
Barbara Perkins,
Co-Chair for Los Angeles CARES Mentoring Movement.

Barbara Perkins
Los Angeles, CA

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Mentor: Carol Helms

My fifth grade teacher influenced me in many ways. Not only was she pretty but she was articulate and above all believed that I would succeed, given that I had the tools to do so. She spent many hours tutoring me on my math and took me above and beyond what was neccessary for 5th grade math. If not for her patience, and peaceful guidance, I would not be the person that I am today. If there were ever a way to thank you Carol I would. You have been a shining light to me during the hardest time of my life. If only she were able to hear what a difference she made in my life. I am now a college graduate and am making great strides professionally and personally. I am also a mentor and have great respect for all those that have made a deliberate choice to not give up on me. I believe that children may have to face many challenges and difficulties but along the way mentors can make a monumental difference in their desire to achieve success!

Angela Reynolds
Vancouver, WA

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Mentor: Lauren Hendericks

Thank you for coming to my birthday party. You're always nice to me and I hope I am always nice to others like you are.

Alyssa Hall
Savannah, GA

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Mentor: "Rip" Hewes

As I approach my 55th High School reunion this summer, and after living a very successful life, I thought of the man who started me on the right path to living the good life. My high school football coach in Dothan, Alabama taught me how to have confidence, be a team player and have a winning attitude. I was from the poorer side of town, but that made no difference to him, and showed me that it should make no difference to me either. After high school, I never forgot those lessons, as I am sure many hundred others that he coached did not forget them either. He is dead now, but the high school stadium carries his name.

Tommy Wilkes
Birmingham, AL

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Mentor: Cathie Hirsch

Dear Cathie:
I must take the time to say thank you. You have inspired me to go beyond myself and to reach for the stars. It is because of you that I have decided and accepted my position in life. Mentoring has become my life and I desire to inspire children to reach their full potential. Thank you for believing in me and making my career fun and enjoyable. My project Director Cathie is my mentor and I am blessed to have her in my life. She is supportive and encouraging and I am excited to know what the future will hold as we conquer the mentoring initiative in Michigan.

Inez Reyes
Berrien Springs, MI

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Mentor: Michael Hoard

I am thankful for my mentor because he put change in my eyes and made me see that no one is out to get me. My mentor is important to me because he takes the place of a father figure. Things me and my mentor do together include bonding and talking about personal issues.

Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Naura Hoard

I am thankful for my mentor because she has been there for me through everything. My mentor is important to me because she is like another mother figure to me. I can always count on her. When I am with my mentor we go to the movies or out to eat. I like to catch up with her. Also, she helps me with college applications.

Georgette, age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: John Holensworth

John was my next door neighbor. He took the time to pay attention to me and to teach me how to throw a baseball, how to catch. He taught me to laugh out loud when I was happy and to cry in his arms when I was said. On weekends he sometimes drove me to his work in an open red jeep, that was a very big deal in the late 40's. He took me to a Brooklyn Dodger game and introduced me to Jackie Robinson, that was incredible. The very best thing he gave me was to accept me as me. He never criticized me or tried to change me in any way, it made my life so perfect. Thank you John!

Sylvia D'Avanzo
Huntington Beach, CA

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Mentor: Ruth Holland

Dear Ruth,
When I think of the word "mentor" I think of you. You took me on as your secretary and guided me through some very tough times. You're the reason I went into education, and you're the reason I work so hard to do the right thing.
Sincerely, Leslie Noyes

Leslie Noyes
Mahomet, IL

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Mentor: Regina Horne-Espree

Regina Horne-Espree is a hard worker, loving mother, and a wonderful mentor. She shares her life experiences with all who wants to listen, and is a never ending source of good advice. She never turns her back on any one in need and is the definition of a Phenomenal Woman.

Arleya H., age 16
San Antonio, TX

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Mentor: Jennifer Horton

In my life,there've been numerous of people.They're as many as the stars in the sky.It's too bad that these stars are quiet and don't catch much of people's attentions.However,I'm wishing there will be one star that is a meteor that will leave me some influential effects.If a meteor really appears,attentions must be caught.Even if it's a flashy moment,the feeling should be profound and memorable.I remember it was my sophomore year in high school and I had come to the US for just a few months.I felt that I was at a loss and disoriented because of the new environment.I was confused and didn't know what I should do.Fortunately,I met Jennifer from an after school program at Simmons College.Since then,I realized what a mentor was and how influential it was to impact my life.Jennifer was the program's coordinator and was responsible of students' academic progress.When students encountered any difficulties and concerns,Jen would be the first person to contact.I was among those students who'd like to talk with her when I felt anxious.I shared all my feelings with her.Then she counseled and enlightened me by conversations.It was her that I understood the saying of "hope is tomorrow."I and Jen didn't often keep in touch with each other since she went back to her hometown,but Jennifer's existence in my life was like the meteor grazing the sky,with resplendent light and deep impression.With this mentor experience with Jen,I understand if I would have an opportunity to become others' mentor,the important factors would be considerable.A good mentor should possess characteristics of patience,humor,consideration,communication,and responsibility.A mentor should be able to keep in touch with their students.If I could have a mentor again,I'd expect the mentor to care myself more and consider my needs.It's hard to find a good mentor,but it's harder to be a good mentor.

Gina Fang
Waltham, MA

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Mentor: Dan Houck

Dan has inspired me to work hard, mentor others, and to live my dreams. He has pushed me to see beyond what I once thought was my limited potential. Thank you Dan!

Kim Snodgrass
Allston, MA

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Mentor: Alice Humphries

My mentor was an aunt who took me in after the death of my mother. She had a harder time than most mentors, because she had to deal with many challenges, on my behalf, every day.
She worked relentlessly with me, on all of my school subjects and skills... many evenings she worked with me, looking over my homework. She made sure I got books for summer reading lists. She went so far beyond the call of duty, but it took me years to realize her contribution to my life.
By the time I was a teen, I was only spending summers with her and her family.
With her encouragement, I obtained my first summer volunteer job at the hospital.
Two summers of steady, dedicated, volunteer work led to an after school hospital job which I kept through my junior and senior years of high school.
I now mentor two teenagers and I know, without a doubt, that I am able to do this because of the mentoring I received.
I can't begin to name all the things I learned and absorbed from my favorite mentor,
my aunt, who I now call... mother.
Thank you for this opportunity to publicly announce her sacrifices and her name.

Sherrie Zebilsky
Raleigh, NC

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Mentor: Emmanuel Ijewere

A sure guide when needed. He is a great mentor,with someone like him you just want to be the best in whatever you do.

Agatha Emina
Lagos, Nigeria

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Mentor: Maryclaire Ison

Thank you for noticing me, the silent one in the back. You inspired me beyond any.

Erin W.
Lakeland, Florida

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Mentor: Ole and Bruce Jacobson

Both people were always supportive always understanding would give you advice if you wanted it and not until then. And have a special way of saying things you don't want to hear without coming across as judgemental. Their comments are in the back of my mind, I always knew that they would be there for me. And now I get the chance to mentor back in the community with Teammates. It's is amazing, mentoring really does make a life long difference.

Valara Mamot
Grand Island, NE

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Mentor: Margaret James

The lady who has more energy thsn the energizer bunny!! This is Margaret. She is the person that has mentored me unknowingly. From her I have learned most of what I know about youth. Through a program called Achievement, Developement, Awarness and Pride through Teamwork, better knowh as ADAPT she got me involved and showed me how to facilitate and conduct workshops for youth as well as parents.I have gotten certified in classes that I was not even aware of through her knowledge. She has referred me for futher trainings and(at times has paid for them). Through all of my trials and tribulations no matter how menial they may be she always shows me the light at the end of the tunnel. I know that she would never consider herself as a mentor to me but I do. If you look up the word mentor you will see that it is a friend, someone who you can trust and who exposes you to new horizons. That is Margaret. She has taken me to heights that I did not dream of before because I was comfortable where I was but she saw something in me that said that I could go highter and I have. She has also been a mentor to my 2 sons and I just want to say "Thank you from the bottom of my heart". I will forever remember all that you have taught me and given to me and my sons.

Ora Williams
Detroit, MI

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Mentor: Maurice Jelks

I am thankful for Maurice because he is intelligent and understanding. Maurice is important to me because he has become a very big part of my life. My mentor is special because he has shown that he truly cares and that he is serious about our mentor/ mentee relationship.

Johnathan, age 14
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Cassie Jennings

I found this site about a month too late. My mentor and dearest friend died March 23, 2007. I met Cassie when I was 20 and she was "thiry-ish". I was running with a rough crowd and heading downhill fast, having moved to the metro area from a small town on my own. Cassie put up with my late night hysterical phone calls and tearful ramblings for a couple of years. She was gentle but firm in her guidance and advice. She used words with me like "upward motivated" and "tremendous". Eventually I graduated college and am now in a professional position. I don't think I would be here if I hadn't had her to guide me. I told her so, just hours before her death and I told her that I hoped she knew that she had changed my life. And now when I work with people, I use words like "upward motivated" and "tremendous".

Crystal McLaren
Oklahoma, OK

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Mentor: Chris Johnson

My mentor, Chris Johnson is an inspiration to me!! I don't only look at him as a mentor, I see him as a father figure. Chris has done so mch for me and has given me so many encouraging words which inspires me to be the young man I am. The one thing that I like about Chris is that he has been through something and that shows that no matter how bad it seems or how bad the situation is that God can turn it all around and make something great out of it. He has started a mentoring group in the community called "Young Men Of Integrity" in which I am a leader. The program teaches children about substance abuse, how to be a man, how to become successful, and also teaches us about how gangs are not the way to get money, power, and respect. We have also learned alot of other things. We participate in postive things in the community with different organizations, such as the United Way, and Exdodus Homes to name a few. As I come to a close in this letter, I would like to say that I love you Chris, and I thank you for everything that you have done for me!!

Phrank Moses
Hickory, NC

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Mentor: Fred Jones

Thank you for mentoring me.

Jeremy P., age 16
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Seneshia Jones

I am thankful for my mentor because is everything I want in a best friend. She is important to me because she is my second mother. We talk about any and everything. My mentor is special because she is a very original person. She is the one, the only, Seneshia Jones.

Brianna, age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Andy July

I would like to thank my Big Brother. The things that we do together are awesome. I am really glad that I met Andy and that we do so many things together. The fun things that we do are go to the movies, & I learned how to ride a dirt bike and he teachs me new things every weekend. I have really improved at home with my mom & sister and also my grades.This is a SHOUT OUT TO YOU ANDY!!!!!!!!!! Thanks and you're AWESOME!!!!!!

Nico Vivirito
Joliet, IL

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Mentor: Lexie Kaye

I want to thank you for all you taught me. You are a kind and caring person, with fantastic values. I took more from our experience together than just learning about radio... you built my confidence... encouraged me, and most of all became my friend.The world would be a much better place if there were more people like you in it! God Bless and I love you!

Stephanie Harris
Atlanta, GA

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Mentor: Mike Kelly

I am thankful for my mentor Mike because he takes time out of his life to spend with me. Mike is important because he is the person that I can depend on. The things I do with Mike include: playing sports, eating pizza, and having fun. He is special because he actually tries to help me succeed in life. I am very thankful for my mentor.

George, age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Roland Kelpe

When I was in 5th grade, in San Angelo Texas, there was a man that was our baseball coach. He was tough on us and expected a lot. We often had to stay at practice late, after dark, to "do things right."

Roland was not all tough, as I'd see him at church over the weekend, sitting by himself, worshipping. At the age of 35, I opened my first Karate School and it was amazingly successful. Not just monetarily, but we had many students -- both youth and adult, go on and become local, state, and national champions.

I called Roland one afternoon, remembering him as a fantastic mentor, reached him, and, he even remembered me! After all those years! I cried because ot as so good to talk to him and tell him how much of a difference he had made in my life. If I could be remembered, some day, like Roland Kelpe is to this day, my work would be more fulfilling than it is right now.

God Bless you, Roland Kelpe, you are the best!!!

Michael Newland
Phoenix, AZ

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Mentor: Mr. Ken

Mr. Ken, Thank you for teaching me gymnastics. It has been really fun. I am climbing the rope faster. Thank you again.

Kayla Frady, age 8
Hardeeville, SC

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Mentor: Terry Kennedy

My mentor is Terry Kennedy. He is an awesome skateboarder and has inspired me to skate. I want to be just like him.

Kyle, age 9
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Dayo Keshi

A mother not just to me but to all. Founder of Afrigrowth Mentoring Programme. She has taught me and a lot others what mentoring is all about. Mummy you got us there and encouraged us to leave the BIG TOE in, what more could a great mentor do. You are the best. Thank you for your care.

Agatha Emina
Lagos, Nigeria

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Mentor: Christy Kiley

I admire you because you are the strongest person that I know. Even in the face of adversity, you have always emerged as a stronger person each and every time. You never complain about anything and are always there for me no matter what. Even when times were tough, I knew I could count on you to be in my corner. You inspire me to be a better person and I love you so much. Thank you for everything. .

Taylor K., age 17
Savannah, GA

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Mentor: Colleen Knupp

Dear Colleen,
I'm so thankful for you because you have been more than a mentor to me. You have been more like a mother to me and you push me to do my best and to keep trying. I'm thank you for being in my life and for bringing positivity. I can talk to you about anything. You are something special.

Jaquita S., age 16
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Dr. John Kontogianes

Dr. Kontogianes was a great man. He was kind, passionate about the learning community, and loved life. He mentored hundreds of people throughout his lifetime here in Tulsa. John took me under his wing when I was bright-eyed, curious 19 yr. old with no particular direction and told me that he'd pay for my first college course if I'd go. It had not occurred to me to ever try to attend college. He knew, of course, I'd be hooked on learning for life. He paid for my first course, and many years later when I entered graduate school, I sent him a thank you letter for sparking my interest, believing in me, and changing my life forever. He passed away just four years later. Thank you, Dr. John, for all the lives you touched along the way.

Cindy Lamon
Tulsa, OK

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Mentor: Therese Kosary

Professor Therese Kosary, thank you for always encouraging me, giving me confidence, and directing me in the right path through my past semesters in my academic studies. I am most grateful for this past semester of my senior year; you really encouraged my ambition to become a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) stronger by the day, after my burn injury. You have supported my ideas and thoughts about helping others in ways you do not even know. I have learned, through my college years, having a caring mentor in your academic profession plays an enormous role in the life of a first generation student; thank for taking me under your wings. Everything that I have learned from you has helped me create a successful college path to graduation. As a future Bilingual SLP, I want to continue your teaching style and be a strong influence to my future clients; you have built my confidence in ways you cannot imagine. I am privileged to have such a mentor and friend who has a passion for teaching and influencing students. I know years from now I will look back on my experience and be inspired to do something with my clients that I remember you doing with me. Thanks for making a difference in my life. I couldn?t have done it without you. Keep in touch.

Martha N. Marie
San Marcos, TX

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Mentor: Jim Kostielney

Over the years, I've had two mentors who significantly impacted my life. The first was my father, Walter Raymond Wood, who taught me how to live my life to be a good human being and to leave things better than I found them. Years later, I met and married Jim Kostielney. Jim taught me how to identify and achieve my goals. He taught me two "business mantras" - spend the company's money as I would my own and remember that my primary job was to make my boss look good. Those two concepts have served me well for over 24 years. Jim took sole responsibility for my three children as well as his own three while I returned to and graduated from college. Without him, I would not be the person I am today, nor would I love my life as I do. He has mentored countless individuals and families, helping them to have better lives and to become the people they'd always wanted to be. He has taught thousands of people, of all ages and from all walks of life, how to build homes, how to create and cherish a family, and how to live good lives. Jim now has an inoperable brain tumor. His generosity, thoughtfulness and caring for others, though, will remain with us for generations.

Janet Wood Kostielney
LaPorte, IN

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Mentor: Ginny Kownurko

Mrs. Kownurko was my accounting teacher in high school. I had taken accounting as an elective my sophomore year and most kids in the class were seniors trying to fulfill a math credit. I was interested in the class because I thought that was the field I wanted to study but at this point in my life I really wasn't sure of anything I wanted to do. Mrs. Kownurko must have seen something in me because she recommended me for a high school internship program that was only supposed to be for seniors. This was a program I knew nothing about but was eager to get involved in. Had she not gotten me into the internship, I would not have had that experience to guide me into my college career. I also would not gotten some of the direction needed to get where I was headed. I accredit the unspoken guidance of Mrs. Kownurko to me solidifying my direction in college and getting my started on my career in accounting!

Nicole Grant
Chalfont, PA

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Mentor: Henrich Kroll

Thank you to my mentor, Henrich Kroll, for touring me around Europe as I watched him do fundraising presentations in multiple languages (that I didn't speak). I didn't understand the words, which helped me pay closer attention to tempo and tonal changes as he presented. I don't know what he was saying, but I would have bought whatever it was that he was selling. Little did I know that this is would become my career just a few years later.
God bless you brother!

Jon Rogers
Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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Mentor: Sherrie Krumm

Sherrie Krumm is an inspiration to my life. In 1998, I entered the foster care system at the age of 16 years. She came into my life at a critical time when I was first place into care. She spoke to me in a way that made sense. She talked that culture is learned and as long as you are loved color should never be an issue to mentor somebody. When I graduated from high school she was there with my African American foster mother. My peers asked about my parents and I said my mentor and my grandmother are here. In 1997, I received a double degree from CSUN. She told me that she was very proud of me. In 1994 I became the founder of a mentoring program in California best known as Wendys Kids,Inc. She taught me to follow my purpose and to give back. Today and always, I would like to tell her that I thank her for her unconditional love, patience, and financial support.

Wendy Perlera
Glendale, CA

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Mentor: Randy Kuykendall

When I moved to El Paso, TX as the new Director of Durham College, one of my competitors took me under his wing and introduced me to the business community and even helped me get a seat on the Better Business Bureau Board of Directors. He was my guide, confidante, and friend. His lovely family and dedicated LDS church members even came to my hospital bedside while our son was in NICU and prayed for his strength.
Randy has been the mentor to many, many people and I just wanted to applaud and praise all of the work that he has done to help others better themselves with his school, Western Technical College. Not only is he a mentor, but also a spiritual guide as well. Thank you, Randy, for all you have done!

Deborah B. (D.B.) Sells
Royse City, TX

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Mentor: Anthony Lambert

My mentor (Big Brother) is great. He is, cool, funny and nice and gives me the best advice. He takes me out to eat, to the gym, and to basketball games. He is only a phone call away if I need him. My mom and Grandma like him, too. He fits in with our family, like he is family. He is smart. I hope to be like him when I am older. Even when he is busy, he still takes time to come and visit, and I just want to tell him "thank you".

Nick B.
Livonia, MI

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Mentor: Wendy Landblom

My teacher Mrs Landblom is my mentor becuse she is the one that taught me how to be better in math. One of the things that she taught me is how to do algebra. She also told me that, for math, you need to know your multiplication facts and how to add high numbers.

Luis M., age 13
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Michelle LaVigne

I am thankful for Michelle because she is very important to me. She is always caring and there to help me in many different ways. My mentor is special because she loves the twilight movies and is a very cool mentor.

Jordan, age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Celeste Lee

Thank you for always believing in me and my dreams and the future that lies ahead. You have always been a beautiful role model and I am thankful to you because I am who I am because of you.
All my love.

Juliana Lee
Santa Barbara, CA

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Mentor: Dan and Dina Levin

Dan and Dina,
I thank you both for giving your time to bring me into your lives. I feel very special to have you guys with me and I can't wait for our friendship to grow. You made me feel like I have other people to go to outside my family. I thank you for all you do for me.

Luis, age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Sue Levine

Straight out of college, finding my way, married and having a baby, I was invited under the wings of Sue Levine. Sue's guidance, patience, kindred spirit and endless supply of positivity helped me to balance my new life and to still reach for the stars! Sue led by example. In doing so, she taught me so many wonderful life lessons and encouraged my continuing education. She opened her arms and her door to my family. I could always count on Sue for a laugh, a good cry, or a shoulder to lean on. I think of her often to this day and thank God for bringing her into my life. 22 years later, I still believe Sue is one of God's Angels who live here on earth to help others find their way.

Chris McGrenera
Winfield, IL

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Mentor: Claudette Lewis

To a faithful mentor...
Ms. Claudette is involved in multiple service organizations and is a warrior and a champion for youth in her community. Years ago, she recognized the importance of receiving an education, volunteering, and even being a leader. She has offered various opportunities in these areas for kids. She was inspired by her daughter to carry on the legacy of making a difference in the lives of those in the community. As a result, she has dedicated her time to giving parents and their children information about scholarships, leadership positions, and so much more.
Without a doubt Ms. Claudette has impacted my life and so many around her. Because of her guidance, I have been on the Girl Scout board and won the title of Miss Teen San Antonio. That is just a small snippet of how she has changed my life for the better. She has helped to educate my mother about the college and scholarship process, which has been a huge help for my family.
Not only has she led me into wonderful experiences, but because of her I have become a better person. Ms. Claudette has pushed me to take charge and be in the forefront. Sometimes it was hard for me to see her goal, but as I look back I understand that she just wanted me to succeed in whatever I put my mind to as well as stretch my boundaries.
I admire Ms. Claudette for believing in the youth and being a champion for us. She is strong-willed, dedicated, loved by the community, and such a truly caring person.
San Antonio, Texas would not be the same without her.
Love Selena - National Girl Scout Planning Team Member

Selena Mitchell
San Antonio, TX

In 2009 I had the distinct privilege of meeting Mrs. Claudette Lewis. Since that initial meeting, I latched on to her as she became my Mentor. Mrs. Lewis is an inspiring woman whose strength and passion is relentless and geared towards helping to empower young people to excel and achieve in all aspects of life. She is a dedicated mentor and strong advocate for providing training for youth to succeed in their education and acquire scholarships, to learn how to become young leaders in their schools and communities with volunteerism programs and principals that will enable them to transcend in their exploration of achieving their life goals and aspirations. Even with her own challenges, she finds strength and goes the extra miles for her youth mentees. I am very grateful to have Mrs. Lewis as part of my life and fortunate to have been part of her mentoring program. I have benefited tremendously. I say to Mrs. Lewis: "THANK YOU FOR BEING SUCH A WONDERFUL MENTOR TO ME. YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART." I see myself in the future achieving all my goals, being world renowned as I walk the path ordained of God. I hope to make you and my parents very proud. Love, Kevin Davison-Gospel Jazz Saxophonist ... Performing & Recording Artist, Simply Phenomenal!

Kevin D., age 17
San Antonio, TX

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Mentor: Mrs. Leyhane

I am a 5th grader at Bretton Woods Elementary. I am greatful for all the time and effort Mrs. Leyhane has given me. She is a great teacher and someone that I admire. She has taught me to be strong and have confidence in all that I do. I will miss her when I go to middle school and will never forget all she has taught me. I am a better person for just knowing her. Thank you so very much!!!!!!!!!!

Briana Giordano
Hauppauge, NY

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Mentor: Patricia Little

She was a "real" teacher. She was the only teacher in my high school who bothered to talk to her students about them, not just about academics. Other teachers would pretend to talk to the students, but they were just participating in the adolescent popularity contest. Ms. Little didn't care how popular she was, she just took the time to talk and listen.


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Mentor: Nigel Livesley

He believed in me when very few others did. He trusted me to accomplish tasks that others didn't think I had the ability to. He saw the potential in me and nurtured it. He showed me the sky and told me to reach for the stars. He was my boss, my mentor and my friend. Thanks Nigel, I am forever grateful..

Robert Kyeyagalire
Kampala, Uganda

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Mentor: Chris Locke

Mr Locke:
Thank you for taking time out of your day to help give birth to Meep II. It has not only helped me in my quest to take over the world with robots, but given me the inspiration to choose an alternate career path incase world domination doesn't work.

Killian S., age 17

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Mentor: Mr. Logen

He helped me learn how to control my anger and do my best in school.

Joseph D., age 13
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Joanne Lonetto

Mrs. Lonetto is the assistant principal at my school. She is very busy but she makes time to see me every week in my class or during lunch. My mentor is pretty and has nice shoes. My mentor lets me give her hugs. She helps me do good in school. I got to make pancakes with my mentor. I love my mentor and she loves me.

Abigail L., age 7
Hauppauge, NY

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Mentor: Mike Long

Mike was a retired Navy Fighter pilot and trainer who owned the local coffee house in Oceanside, CA. I was only about 15 years younger than him so he wasn't a father figure or anything like that but he had a way of supporting me that I had never felt from anyone else. He completely believed in me and encouraged me in everything I did. I was in law school at the time and my husband and I had moved to CA from New York. We didn't know many people so the belief, encouragement and friendship Mike showed me meant so much. I have never met another man in my life who was as giving, accepting, loving and supportive as Mike Long.

Belinda Rachman, Esq.
Carlsbad, CA

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Mentor: Tina Lopez

I chose her because she helps me solve problems when needed. She helps me get organised, she helps me be prepared and on time. She inspires me to get good grades in school and to keep trying even though I feel I just can`t do it any more. I feel like she is my life saver because she was there when my mom wan`t there. Tina is my foster mom that makes me feel safe in the big world. There are so many things that I am capable at doing and this is not one. But this is one,doing good at my visits with my mom and grandma. I really love the people that care for me.

Cheyenne Mclain
Cortez, CO

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Mentor: Tony Lopez

Dear Tony,
I'm very grateful for having you as a mentor. You have been there for me throughout these four years and provided me with great advice and support. I truly value your words and appreciate everything you have done for me.

Jesus S., age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Bonnie Lukowski

Our mentor Mrs.Lucowski is so nice. Every holiday she gave us gifts. We also gave her one back. Not only is she nice she is funny. She tells us jokes all the time. She plays a lot of jokes on us. She never says that we do something bad. She also always wants to know what is going on in our lives. She asks us what we did that day, or how are you feeling, or how is so and so doing. She makes us laugh when we are sad, she helps us to calm down when we are mad. She is everything in a nut shell. She is the best mentor ever.

Toni and Frankie A., age 11
Dix Hills, NY

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Mentor: Bishop Roger Madison

Bishop Madison,
I remember the day we were face to face and how your focus brought the best out in me and through it all when every one else could only see the worst in me you were the one who saw past my faults like God our Savor.
Bishop, because of your devine influence and your continuing tough love with me I more now than ever see that there is more than just believing in myself but that I have to give myself the chance and stop letting people live my life for me and live it for myself. I am an artist and the director of my story from begining to end.
Again in ending with out you Bishop I don't know where I would be or what I would be doing but thank you anyways.
God Bless you Bishop Madison.

Sirivi Hanson
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: John and Brea Malloy

I am thankful for the Malloys because they are important to me and are always doing things for me. My mentors are special because they are very nice to me. Another reason my mentors are special is that we always have fun no matter what we are doing.

Jorge, age 14
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Mr.Manns

I like having a mentor because I can talk and say what I want to say. I can have fun with my mentor and do things that I never really get to do. I can make projects with my mentor and talk about my day.

Jaunte' B., age 15
Elmont, NY

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Mentor: Irwin Marcus

I met Professor Irwin Marcus when I was a freshman in college. I thought I knew everything - of course I knew nothing. Irwin was kind enough to not point out the obvious. He offered me the tools to learn, evaluate and create. As a professor of history, Irwin opened the doors of the world to me. I am a better person because I stumbled into his American History class many years ago. Irwin has also become a great friend and inspiration. Although officially retired, Irwin continues to teach and inspire others in Indiana Pa. Thank you Irwin. Your influence will last many lifetimes.

Maggie Shearon
Longmont, CO

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Mentor: Rose Marino

I like having a mentor because I can talk and say what I want to say. I can have fun with my mentor and do things that I never really get to do. I can make projects with my mentor and talk about my day.

Michael, age 9
Elmont, NY

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Mentor: Rory Marshall

I want to submit this tribute to Rory Marshall. Rory was my choir director and also ran a small youth group for young men on the South East side of Grand Rapids MI, where I grew up. Rory got permission to use the basement of a local church in the neighborhood and brought us guys together and talked to us about setting goals in life and having a passion for becoming all that God created us to become. Rory had so much energy and drive. I knew he wasn't getting paid to spend time with us, he just wanted to make a difference in our lives. I'm sure Rory has no idea how much his life affected mine at a time that I needed it most.

Rory went on to Pastor a church and raise a family with his wife. The last time I saw Rory was on Mother's Day in 1987. I was home on leave from active duty service in the U.S. Marines. I was 22 at the time and my wife and I were expecting our 1st child. It had already been 9 years since Rory first gathered our group together and even then I never told him how much he meant to me. Maybe I was still to young to really appreciate it.

Rory Marshall is a big reason why I am who I am today and why I'm curently working for my local Boys & Girls Club, trying to make a positive impact in the lives of as many kids as I can. I can't believe it's been 32 years, but I am so thankful for this mentoring project and the opportunity to say Thank You to Rory Marshall for beeing there for me.
Duane Reynolds
Director of Operations
Boys & Girls Clubs of Coastal Carolina Janet

Duane Reynolds
Havelock, NC

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Mentor: Marissa Martin

I am thankful for Marissa because without her I wouldn’t be able to think clearly through a rough situation. Marissa is important because I look up to her and her accomplishments. My mentor is special because she supports me and helps me set positive goals.

Karen, age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Marybeth

My mother was on the terminal ward at Mary Hitchcock hospital. My father was recovering from a massive heart attack which left him 100% disabled. I was 17 with a 7 year old brother. The hospital social worker saw me in the hall after a meeting with doctors and told me she'd like to help. She met with me once a week and let me express my grief and fears.Though this wasn't an official mentor, it was my saving grace and I want to recognize her. I could not pay her, so I brought her wild flowers every week and poems that I had written. I've always wanted to thank her for helping me have the strength to go on in such sad times. Wherever you are Mary Beth, you are my hero. Love, Janet

Janet Heartson
Barnet, VT

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Mentor: Mandy Matteson

Dear Mandy, I love you a whole lot, and I just want to say that I hope that I can be just like you -- pretty, smart, intelliegent, funny, beautiful, sweet, kind and loving -- to everyone and everywhere. I love you sooooooo much and miss you soooooooo much!!!!!!

Marissa M., age 14
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Maneli Mazlumi


Mohammad G.M., age 10
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Tim McCarthy

Not a lot of people have mentors in their lives that makes them see the potential of ourselfs. Sometimes it takes a person, lets call this person Tim and Tim is that person for me that gives me the look in the eye that makes me want to keep making an effort to not only make my family proud, but him as well. Turns out to be Tim is my mentor and i would like to thank him today and always for his support and for our chats we have. Monday's at noon we'll be with him, and it's not a burden to hang out with him, i actually like our talks. It's like if i had my personal guardian. Tim, thanks for your time, i really appriciate our talks and thanks for not giving up on me.

Jose Esquivel
Seaside, CA

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Mentor: Liz McCutcheon

Liz McCutcheon was a "no-nonsense" boss. As a novice to the banking world in the mid 70's, I was astounded by her vast knowledge concerning the operational aspects of banking. There was nothing about banking operations that you could ask her that she did not know. She was never selfish with her knowledge and was always willing to share it. Because of her guidance and selflessness I was able to forge a successful banking career where I became respected for my work ethic and knowledge. Although I have now retired from banking, I still remember this tiny dynamo who mentored and encouraged me.

Deborah Gaddis
Birmingham, AL

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Mentor: Angie and Shaun McKay

Dear Shaun and Angie,
Thank you for being a friend and being there for me for the past 3 years. I gratefully appreciate that you're contributing your time to accept me into your family and for being a part of this organization.

Sergio V., age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Lesley McKay

The Best Mentor There Is: Mrs. Lesley McKay
I met Mrs. McKay when I started school. With a lot of things in school, I have come very far. Now, I am glad that Mrs. McKay is my mentor, because she helps me understand a lot of things that I never would have gotten otherwise. It is also fun when we bring in games to play and figure out how to play them and I usually win. Like when we play "Guess-Who", which is a game where you try to guess who the other person's person on the card is, by asking questions about the other person's figure on the card. Mrs. McKay and I love to play games. Mrs. McKay likes to talk about subjects such as the politics that I am active in. Mrs. McKay also likes to talk about the way things work. Mrs. McKay is very cheerful. The best thing about going to Mrs. McKay's office is that we get to play a lot and have so much fun.

Noah S.B.W., age 8
West Hartford, CT

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Mentor: Kim McKnee

You are an amazing person and words can not explain how much you mean to me. We have been through a lot together and you have helped me through so much. You were my family when I didn't have one, you've given me a gift that no one can take from me and that is love. You understand me when no one else can. We have so much in common its unreal, but I love it because it really helps me to know that I am not alone! I am so blessed to have you in my life, and wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have you. I understand that you are going through a hard time and I am giving you your space. Just know that I love you and can't wait 'til I see that new baby that is in your stomach!!!!!!

Danielle Boling
Auburn Hills, MI

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Mentor: John McNeal

At a time in my life when I needed to find an example of what an African-American male Christian looked like I became acquainted with John McNeal, Sr. He took me under his wing and began to pour more knowledge into me than any other individual had ever done includiong my own father.
He is a man of conviction who stands firm in his faith and has never wavered. John is a leader by example and has mentored an unknown number of young Black men in such a positive way that they have made profound impacts globally.
He remains a dedicated pastor, husband, father, mentor and role model who has been tried, tested and proven to be genuine follower of Jesus Christ.
It is a priviledge fro me to honor him for the profound and positive impact he has made in my life. I am eternally grateful for God placing him in my life.

Herman Moten
Houston, TX

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Mentor: Joe Melcher

I would like to thank my mentor, Dr. Joe Melcher, who has provided me with insight, support, and guidance in our profession of Audiology. Your time and efforts are truly appreciated. Thanks for all you've done and also just for who you are!

Ahmad Alexander
Minden, LA

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Mentor: Mom & Dad Mendez

This is for my mom & dad. Thank you both for showing me love, compassion, support, and dedication. I feel blessed to have you both! Thank you. for everything.

Steven M., age 16
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Pedro Mendez

This tribute goes out to Pedro Mendez. I currently work for our county office of education as a grant speciailist and absolutely love what I do and find purpose everyday I come into work. I owe and contribute my success to Pedro. Pedro gave me my first opportunity to work in the public sector and impact lives. He believed in me, mentored me,provided me with awesome leadership, opportunities, valued my input and recognized my accomplishments. His passion for helping others succeed within our community is GINORMOUS! He is an accomplished grant writer and director and I thank him dearly for everything he has taught me. THANK YOU Pedro for believing in me and impacting my life! I would not be where I am today if it were not for you. THANKS!

Sonia Hogan
Modesto, CA

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Mentor: Marlen Mendoza

My mentor is my mom because she is the person that gives me food and puts a roof over my head. When I need help she helps. She loves me alot. When I'm sad she makes me happy. She never lets me down. She gets me supplies for school. I love my mom alot!

Erick M., age 12
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Nancy Mendoza

I would like to take a moment to thank a special person that has been with me through thick and thin. Nancy has not only encouraged me in continuing my education, but has given me all her support. She offered me a position as a Student Assistant at the Employment Development Department an now everything I know about the job is thanks to her. Looking at her living style, personality, and dedication has motivated me to do as her.

Maria N., age 17
Merced, CA

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Mentor: Joe Mercuri

When I was 10 yrs old, I played with the neighboring girls who lived next door to a lone guitarist just outside Pittsburgh, PA. During the summer months, with his basement door open, I would pause on a knee-high cement wall and listen to this 'new to the ear sound applification'. His guitar sound inspired me to become a musician and, later, joined the school band. Now, I have become a successfull drummer in Europe with the band Liquid Horizon. I have honored my mentor 33 years later with a short 'Thank You' message on our new CD "REVOLUTIONS" to be released in 2007. (How little did my mentor know that I kept him in my heart all those years and now found the proper way to honor his unknowing music contribution to another individual!)

Chuck West
Mannheim, Germany

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Mentor: Sandra Merrill

When I walked into my Spanish 1 class at the University of Central Missouri in the fall of 2001, I did not speak a word of Spanish. I wasn't even expecting to study it, as my interest was Portuguese. However, throughout the years of study, this woman from Bucaramanga, Colombia was nothing but positive, upbeat; she was simply my profesora consentida who was encouraging and constructively critical. She opened a whole new world to me through language and cultures, and taught me to be open-minded, and be ready for the changes the future would bring. Years after getting my undergrad degree, starting a family, joining the day-to-day workforce, and going back to school for higher studies, she is the first and foremost on my list of mentors who really shaped who I am today. If I can ever be even partially as inspiring and empathetic as she remains to this day, I will feel as if I have "been the change I wish in this world."

Ruth Hubenthal
Kansas City, KS

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Mentor: Edith Merritt

Dear Ms.Eddie,thank you for spending time with me. I really appreciate it and I want to thank you for always helping me on my homework and caring about me every time. I really think you're an awesome mentor I could ever have.

Keyana R.
Marietta, GA

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Mentor: Michael Meshnick

My father has always been the biggest influence in my life. My father did not have much growing up. He knew that he wanted more for his own family, and pushed himself to do the best he could at everything he did in his life. After going to college he went to dental school and opend up his very own dental practice in New York. He has come such a long way from where he was as a child, and becasue of that he showed me that I could do whatever I set my mind to. He is a great father, husband, dentist, and most of all friend.

Jillian Meshnick
Waltham, MA

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Mentor: Annette Meyerkord

I would like to thank Annette for her contributions to our robotics team and I greatly appreciate her help and advice over these past six weeks. Your input and assistance was very helpful and we would not have been able to do it without you!

Garrett M., age 17
Overland Park, KS

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Mentor: Annick Michem

That this tribute is in English I have her to thank for. That I dare post it is again thanks to her. She is more than a teacher of English. She demystified 'Brutishness', and at the same time showed us that English opens the whole world. She introduced us -her students- to Anglo-Saxon culture with such passion that we could not but feel totally immersed in it. She allowed us to make mistakes, challenged us to reach our limits and find out that there was no such thing. She trusted me to do well, and I did. I owe her a debt of gratitude, and I shall repay it by taking a leaf out of her book.

Robert Maerlandt
Gent, OV

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Mentor: Nancy Middlebrook

Nancy Middlebrook was my boss at Apollo College when I was 20 years old. Nancy took an immediate interest in me and encouraged me to achieve my potential. This all came at a time in my life where I didn't have a strong relationship with my mother. In retrospect, I feel that Nancy really filled that role for me as she provided me guidance in my personal life in addition to career guidance. I worked with Nancy at Apollo for three years, I then found myself fortunate enough to work with her in a couple other capacities over the next several years. In a large part, I credit Nancy for my success as a business woman today.
Thank you Nancy!

Lenae Schroeder
Gilbert, AZ

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Mentor: Heather Miers

I would like to tell you about my mentor. You gave me courage, strength, and popularity too. I thought I would feel left out. But that was only in the beginning. Thank you for everything. I wish I could turn you into candy because that's how sweet you are. I like to see you on Wednesdays because we draw together, paint each other's fingernails, talk, and play games.

Elizabeth V., age 9
Elmont, NY

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Mentor: Steven Mietelski

I really want to thank you, Steve. We spent a lot of time together and you really taught me how to learn quickly and without frustration. I really feel great now that I don't struggle with learning names, places and dates anymore. You're the best!

John S., age 17
Alexandria, VA

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Mentor: Olga Miller

My mentor is my mother. I remember when we relocated to Brooklyn, NY. I did not want to leave my brother and sister and father. But my mom assured me, we will make it. We both worked at the phone company, and we were staying with total strangers until we could afford to get a place of our own. Thank you Lord, my mother got mugged in the apartment elevator, but she kept on working. I then decided to go in the army, my mom was like a drill sergeant, so I would not have any problems following diretions. During basic training, I would call collect every chance I had, crying to come home. She once again reassured me to hang in there. Thank you mamma for accpeting all my collect calls. I retired with 21 blessed years and 8 tedious years as a special educator...even though she is miles away I still call her not mom is a friend and my mentor. I am truly blessed of my mamma.

Pauline Pitts
San Antonio, TX

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Mentor: Cheryl Miller-Porter

On January 25, 2011; I'd like to take this time to thank my mentor: Cheryl Miller Porter. "Milla" as she is affectionately called, has served as sources of energy, wisdom, and strength during the formative years of high school throughout adulthood. As the Terpsys celebrate four decades of artistice life through dance, I salute her caring, nuturing, and creative persona that has touched many young women and men in the form of dance. Her expressive talent came to be in 1971 when she founded the Teaneck Modern Dance Club now known as the Teaneck Terpsys. The 40 years strong organization has developed choreographers, scholars, and yes, authors. I salute you, I thank you, and I welcome you to continue to do the work you have been commissioned to do which is make a difference in the lives of the youth of Bergen County.

Treva Spencer-Dupree
Teaneck, NJ

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Mentor: Kelly Mills

This is my mom she always helps me with my homework. She is very nice. I love her and she loves me.

Ben M., age 8
Savannah, GA

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Mentor: Dennis Mitchell

My mentor would have to be my grandfather Dennis Elijah Mitchell from Oakdale, La. He was a Baptist Minister, and he was to me a great man. He loved God, his family, and the community that we lived in. Most of the ladies were widowers, and my grandfather would help them or see to them getting the things that they needed to survive, as well as take care of our needs. I would go with him to various homes in the community, and give them produce or meats from our garden, or smoke house. He would welcome strangers in and feed them, and was known as the "Marrying Preacher" because he believed in marriage. I could follow his footsteps and they would lead me to the church. He taught me how to love God, my family, and my fellow man. I volunteer a great deal of my time as a Gospel Singer, Youth Coordinator, and Church Secretary because of the lessons I learned from him. We are our "Brothers Keeper". Our children must first learn how to love God, then God will show them how to love themselves, and others. My "Papa", My blessing, my mentor.

Hattie McGill
Waynesboro, GA

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Mentor: Martin Mogeni

My dad was the man closest to me when I needed someone to talk to most. He corrected me gently, assited me in my assignments, provided material and finacial support all the times and helped me choose a career I will never look back and regret. I love you dad. God bless you.

Cliff Momanyi
Kisii, Kenya

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Mentor: Julia Moran

Dear Julia,
I am thankful for the help you give me and my family. I am lucky to have you as mentor. I am grateful to have you be a part of my family. You really are a big help.

Raven P., age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Laura Moran

Dear Laura,
I am thankful to have you in my life because you are a great role model. I am very happy that I met yu. You are more than a mentor to me; you are like a big sister. You have been there for me whenever I need you the most. This friendship will never end even beyond high school.

Jeanna H ., age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Maria Muddu

Ms Maria Muddu taught me biology at King's College Budo, one of the longest serving teachers at one of the oldest schools in Uganda. She enabled me achieve so much, by asking for so much from me. I am enjoying a fruitful career in public health, but she laid the foundation. A great foundation it has turned out to be.

Robert Kyeyagalire
Kampala, Uganda

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Mentor: Vijaya Narasimhan

There is not enough words to thank a mentor, especially one like like Vijaya. She has been a God send to my son, she is giving him confidence in himself with her tutoring him in school. He struggles and to listen to mom and dad is a battle. The amount of time she has given to him and others is tremendous. He is now asking for help in class from her or his teacher where before, never would happen. He is doing better in school and with his reading and that is due to her dedication to him. How lucky he is to have someone like her in his life, the one on one help he receives. Vijaya has also taken time out to tutor him in her home on Saturday mornings. What a gift that school has to have someone like her there for the children. She never gives up on them even in their toughest moments. Always there to encourage them. My son is one of the lucky ones...someone who cares! Thank You Vijaya!!!

Jackie Scovill
Hibbing, MN

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Mentor: Alicia Nix

Alicia is a very good mentor because she always has something wise to say when you are stuck in a tough situation. Plus, she is very laid back and cool. She is a great person to talk to when nobody is around..

Kristina T.B., age 14
San Marcos, CA

I'm writing this for Miss Alicia, she works here at the Boys & Girls Club. She's influced me to be a better person. She has helped me do many things. I've been able to do community service and help people in need. She's the advisor for the Keystone Club and I've learned a lot. I want Miss Alicia to know that I'm know she cares about not only me but the other teens at The Club. Thank you Miss Alicia.

Abraham L., age 15
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Bart Nolan

Bart Nolan was an assistant professor at the Ashtabula branch campus of Kent State University for 46 years. I first met Bart in September of 1970 when I first started college. He was an interesting character who started off his history class reminding students that he expected all work to be handed in as requested regardless what might happen. He told us that even if we wanted a grade posthumously we had to hand in our papers. The next class date arrived with considerably less attendees. Bart always provided an element of dry whit in all situations. He never treated us like kids but rather like partners in the educational arena. He followed our progress while expecting the most from us on a daily basis. Throughout the years I was able to exchange Christmas cards with Bart, always relishing the news of my alma mater translated by his continued repartee into living facts. Many years have passed since my first day of college and for the first time this Christmas time arrived without a card from Bart. I learned at Christmas that Bart had died in September and for the first Christmas without his presence I realized how much of an impact he had made in my life. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to share this great man with you.

Sarah Murphy
Indianapolis, IN

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Mentor: Jason and Julie Noll

I am thankful for Jason and Julie because they teach me new things about the business world and life in general. My mentors are like family to me. I go to the movies, park, Chinatown, comic book stores, and restaurants with them. They make me feel special because we are very close.

Arkier, age 16
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Brian "Chief" Norwood

His Promise
People come to a new position and promise to create change, but apparently, Promise's meaning now includes a wide range. Its definition to most today include, "maybe" and "unsure", but "promise"-it's the first word they want to yell coming through a new door. Be about your word, don't be scared to take action, just ignore all the haters and minor dissatisfaction. Come in being yourself, knowing only your best ability,don't take on too much and promise pure tranquility.


There's a new man in town that is all about his word,
He's not all talk, he wants US to be heard.
This man came in and demanded change,
He doesn't give us Miss America answers to gain local fame.
People in his previous position, claimed, "To spark change, we must start with the youth"-
So when did you start? I haven't seen any proof.
But for this man, the proof is here tonight,
Running this show, running the lights.
We are YAPC, a big vision only he cared to retrieve.
We were formed simply by love and compassion,
He's not all talk, he REALLY took action.
We love this man for giving us a voice and actually caring about the streets-

Richmond, Virginia, you have the BEST Chief of Police.
-Asia Noel Higgs

Asia Noel Higgs
Richmond, VA

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Mentor: Lauren O'Brien

I am thankful for having the opportunity to meet someone as special as Lauren. I am grateful for all she does for me. She listens to me and cares for me. Lauren is important to me not only because she is there for me but because I look up to her. My mentor is special because she is unique and someone who cannot be compared to other mentors.

Dienesha, age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Maura O'Brien

I am thankful for Maura because she does things for me when she doesn’t have to. She is important to me in many ways because she helps me with school work as well as life. I want to say thank you to her because I know I don’t say it enough.

Breauna, age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Pat O'Carroll

Pat is important to me because he's a nice guy. He gives me stuff without me asking him to. He takes me places like Busch Gardens and Water Country. He takes me out to eat and to his house. I would still like him even if he didn't buy me all that stuff. He's like a brother to me. He's fun. He played soccer with me when I went to his house.

He makes me feel good. I used to not be nice to my cousins and stuff but now I am. Pat taught me to do that. He asks me if I do good in school, too. That makes me do better. He's from Ireland and I taught him how to speak better English. And he taught me how to speak a little bit of Irish but I can't really pronounce the words.

Ted D.C., age 10
Gloucester, VA

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Mentor: Mary Oliver

Aunt Mary was the best, she knew how to say and do the right thing that would make you feel like taking on the world. No matter what the situation was, Aunt Mary had a solution. Her jokes were hilarious and at times made you laugh to the brink of tears. Dispite her handicapped (Polio) she was the most jovial and apt person I ever knew. My first driving lesson was with her when no one wanted to take the chance, she coached me through the entire hour of driving as she sat,tell jokes and stories of her own experience. I will forever be grateful for her many encouragement and pep talks way into the night. Unfortunately she pass on many years ago and I never got the chance to verbally say "I love you Auntie Mary". She was the mother I never got a chance to know, thank you for being you. Love you always/forever in my heart.

Regina Hicks-Wray
Newark, NJ

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Mentor: Christian Orozco

"My mentor would be my big brother Christian"
I picked my big brother is because he was always there for me and being my role model.
He would always help me on my homework, stay with me at my home when my parents were going out somewhere, cooks for me when im feeling ill some of the time or when he's feeling ill then I would help him do some stuff like be his maid or something. Anyways, I will always love him and never ever forget him even though we kind of fight all the time but he's still my roll model and my best big brother.

Briana O., age 12
New Providence, NJ

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Mentor: Charmaine Osbourne

I am thankful for Charmaine because she is awesome. She is a really great person and very nice. We have a lot in common and I can really relate to her. She understands me and gives me great advice. I am very thankful and grateful for her. I am very happy to call her my mentor.

Timonhy, age 14
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Nancy Ostin

Thank you for your leadership and for your guidance. You have been and always will be an inspiration to me, and I will never forget the lessons in life and business that I have learned from you, as an example. I will always treasure that.

Edith Nowak
New Providence, NJ

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Mentor: Joe Ostrander, Sr.

I have been fortunate to have many positive role models in my life. I have had many teachers, pastors and employers who have provided me with guidance, direction and support. However, the one person who has been an ongoing mentor and example for my life is my father, Joe Ostrander, Sr. His examples of how to live life, treat others, be a super husband and father, prioritize, fix the car and refrigerator, have faith, share, be strong, be self-confident and so much more, has made me the person I am today. Even at the age of 40, I still look to him for help. Thanks Dad. I love you.

Joe Ostrander, Jr.
Harrisburg, PA

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Mentor: Karen P.

Do you have a mentor? I do and my mentor is my sister, Karen. Your probobly wondering what a mentor is, right? Well, it's pretty much someone you look up to how has helped you at tough times. Karen has been someone I have looked up to for as long as I could remember. She mainly did this since my parent's divorce when she was 7 and I was 3. She helped me with all my homework once I starteed school and even cooked for me while my mom worked. She and I have always been really close. She taught me how to swim, write, and even read. Karen has been the person there for me even though she was actully just 4 years older than me. She nurtured me and hugged me, took care of me, and has been the best influnce on me. Therefore, I am glad to say that Karen is my mentor and I am very grateful to have someone just like her.

Ashley P., age 11
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Ashley Pascualon

Ashley goes to the Boy's & Girl Club with me. She is in 6th grade.She is so nice and she helps me with my homework. She is my friend and I like her very much. I love it when she plays shark with me.

Cynthia M., age 7
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Tom Pate

My high school counselor made all the difference in my life as a struggling student. I was diagnosed with hiv+ in 1989 and eventually graduated from high school in 1992. As a high school freshman, he showed me the ropes of success to eventually make my mark in school and move on to being a scholar. I eventually made the girls varsity basketball team as a freshman and went on to play all 4 yrs. As a college recruit, I got a scholarship to the University of Santa Clara and succeeded in my endeavors as a black female basketball player in the league. I'd like to thank my high school mentor for showing me the way toward hardships in the wnba and making it in the league. Nowadays, I'm a survivor.

Jen Bell
Benton Harbor, MI

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Mentor: Tim Pelletier

When I was younger, I used to take Tae Kwon Do lessons. It was there that I met Master Pelletier. The head instructor there, he was well respected by everyone, and for good reason. Not simply a master for what he knew in the martial arts, he was, and still is, a mentor for me. He was a person who truly taught me the importance of discipline and respect. With him, marital arts wasn't about beating the other guy up, it was about using self control, while also having mutual respect for each individual opponent you may face in the ring. Sure, you could fight dirty, but that's not a satisfying victory and doesn't work in real life, either. And so, with discipline and respect, I rose not only through the belt ranks, but I also grew as a person. Master Pelletier was a leader for sure, but what made him great was that he never abused his power in any way. Although he clearly knew far more than anyone else, he was never condescending, and always treated us with a mutual respect. Ultimately, Master Pelletier sticks in my mind to this very day as someone I strive to be like - someone who earned respect simply by respecting others, while also teaching them the importance of discipline, not just in the martial arts, but in other facets of life as well.

Matt Weisse
Waltham, MA

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Mentor: Gladys Pemberton

Dear Mrs. P:
Our paths have crossed many times since my freshman year in high school (1979). Nearly 32 years later, I am still eternally grateful for the many blessings I have received as a result of your presence in my life. You are truly a phenomenal woman: a caring teacher, loving wife and mother, and a fabulous friend and mentor.
Remember what you told us in typing class: "As long as you know how to type, you will always have a job." Your advice has placed me in many key positions, all because of my ability to type. Mr. Cortez Peters would be proud, too.
From typing class to FBLA-PBL, and all of life's sharp twists and turns since then, you have always been there for me with encouraging words, proverbial wisdom, and lots of love.
Thank you for teaching me about the real world. Thank you for teaching me to make the most of each day through service to others. May God continue to bless you and your family as you continue to touch the lives around you.
Happy National Mentoring Month!
Love and God Bless,
Donna Allen
Class of 1982

Donna Allen
Danville, VA

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Mentor: Carlos Perez

My dad helps me with my home work and he tought me my times tables. He is my mentor.

Carlos P., age 7
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Pat Peterson

Dear Pat, Thank you for being my mentor and spending time with me. You are a lot of fun and a good listener. Happy Mentor Day.

Karen S.
Marietta, GA

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Mentor: Ron Peterson

Dear Ron, Thank you for being my my mentor. We've had good time over the last few years. If you have another mentee, treat him the same way.

Ethan S.
Marietta, GA

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Mentor: Eunicetine Pharr

As a child, she was more like and "auntie" than a much older big sis. Was our caretaker who babysat all her younger siblings. This included myself, several brothers, and one baby sis. She was a teenager when i was born and it must've been hard on her then to uproot and leave the midwest with mom and her new family to settle out here in California in the late 50's.Looking back, she was there for us even when mom wasnt able to be. She was hard on us but fun, trusted and loved too. She had good taste and taught me an appreciation for good music(jazz), good food - she was a fantastic cook- good shoes and perfume too. She was a mother who fiercely loved her 3 sons and hubby. She gave me advice on marriage and motherhood, and gave me respect as a woman. She showed unconditional love to my own 3 children.She was my sister, mentor and friend - Eunice, love, 'Thelle

Arthelle Porter
Suisun City, CA

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Mentor: Martha Philgreen

In honor of National Mentor Thank You Day, I would like to say a special thank you to Martha Philgreen. When I was in Junior High and High School, she and her husband Don opened up their their lives to me. They sponsored a Kansas City Youth for Christ club that I was a part of, and always seemed to have a house full of teenagers. Martha made time for me, listened when I needed it, and their home was a refuge for me many times when my own was coming apart. I watched Don and Martha relate to each other as a couple, and relate to their children as parents and it gave me hope for the kind of family I wanted to have. She shared her faith with me and she really helped me as a young believer to learn what it means to live a life following Jesus.

So many years later, I am grateful for the influence she had in my life. I've been married 21 years and have two beautiful, amazing children. Now we have a house full of teenagers on Monday night and it would be an honor if we have half the impact on these precious kids that Martha had in my life..

Jennifer L.
Sheridan, AR

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Mentor: Elizabeth Phillips

Watching my cousin Margie draw figures inspired me to draw--on every piece of paper in our house. Little ladies were everywhere and my family never complained. Finally, after five years of phone numbers and recipes artistically adorned, at thirteen, my Aunt Betty sent me to Art Classes. My dad presented me with my first paint box and oils and I was off and running. Uncle Wally framed and hung my work and later got me my first exhibit. At sixteen, I detoured onto my own with marriage and a baby. My parents and aunts and uncles were devastated, but I bounced back a couple years later. At twenty-three, I earned a scholarship to the Pa.Academy of Fine Arts and the University of the Arts. Even though my early work was raging and painful, my family encouraged me. They posed; they helped me hang exhibits. Dad used to meet me for lunch in town, and Aunt Betty babysat my daughter while I painted. I'm sixty now. I've moved to the suburbs with a beautiful garden and I paint in the sunroom overlooking my trees and flowers. My beloved cousin taught me showing wasn't important; painting was. So I paint and I still love it.

Jaynee Levy-Polis
Newark, DE

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Mentor: Hal Portner

Hal Portner is a wise and generous man. He is the author of some wonderful books on mentoring, Being Mentored, and Mentoring New Teachers are just two.
He has continually supported my growth as a mentor, allowing me the mentored experience. Hal is practical. His work involves real people and his written words testify to the fact that people grow when involved in a healthy mentoring relationship.
In our work with him, our small school district has been able to incorporate a Mentor and Induction Program since 2005. We have trained and involved both protégés and mentors so that our professional practices thoughtfully develop and our students benefit from supported.
I consider it my good fortune to have had Hal "adopt" our program in its early stages, provide training, and continue to shelter our growth and development.

Susan Teece
Southampton, MA

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Mentor: Salvador Prado

I look up to my dad becaues he helps me. He takes care of me.

Salvador P., age 11
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Jeff Price

Jeff: Through your genuine commitment to NADE and your belief in its mission, you taught me the importance of belonging to an organization that has helped me to define who I am as a professional. Your love of this organization and pure motives to keep it the most successful organization is can be, has encouraged me to get involved and stay involved even through the difficult times. You spoke to me by your involvement and actions. You showed me that NADE is truely my voice in the big world of SSA. You helped me to want to keep this organization the best it can be. Thank you for being a mentor, a friend and an all around great guy!!!

Celeste Lilly
Raleigh, NC

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Mentor: Mrs. Quackenbush

Mrs.Q is the best teacher ever. Thank you for teaching me cursive.

Will D., age 8
Savannah, GA

Mrs. Quackenbush-
You're the best teacher I've ever had. I enjoy your class so much! Everyday you make learning fun. I hope you have a great day.
Yours sincerely,
Jacob Wood

Jacob W., age 8
Savannah, GA

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Mentor: Glenn R.

Glenn and I worked together for several years. He was the VP/general manager for our company's flagship store, and I was a financial analyst. We have both since left the company, he retired and soon later I was part of a mass workforce reduction. It's hard for me to think about leadership and dedication without thinking of Glenn as an example. Not only is he a visionary business executive, but he also takes the time to make his family a priority in his life. That quality always stood out to me about him. Glenn was one of the most challenging people that I've ever had to work with, and I thrived on it. He expected nothing but the best in me and I happily worked hard towards that goal. He provided a wonderful balance of support paired with expectation and confidence in my abilities, far beyond my own. I am forever grateful of my time with Glenn and for having him as a mentor in my life. I know I'm not alone. Thank you Glenn.

Silvia Tergas
Washington D.C.

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Mentor: Andy Raia and Marcy Lape

I am thankful for my mentors. They are the best. I am grateful for all they do for me and for all the great times we have spent together.

Anthony, age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: "Mr. Odell" Randall

I was a child of a very poor single mother who could barely make ends meet. There were a lot of times when we did not even have enough food to make a simple meal. These were very hard times for me, and at times just outright miserable. In the middle of all that was "Mr. Odell." He was a blue collar man with three sons who he spent a tremendous amount of time with them; Mr. Randall was very athletic and so were his sons, that's where he came into my life. Mr. Randall would take his personal automobiles and go around our community and pick up any and every kid who wanted to play football, baseball or basketball on a team and transport them to the only recreation center near us (about seven miles) every week. He regularly held practices and counseled us on the right things to do in life. No matter where he saw us or when it was he was always giving life lessons. So many of those lessons stay with me to this very day. I know that I am not the only person that feels like this and hope some of the others wil give tribute to his memory also. Mr. Randall's players consistently excelled at other levels all the way to professional sports and I feel that we have excelled in life because he cared enough to reach out. THANK YOU ODELL

Jimmy Ervin
Bedford, TX

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Mentor: Bryan Rees

I am thankful for Bryan because he has been a great mentor. He has always been very nice to me. My mentor is special because he is a wonderful person and has a great personality. My mentor is important to me because he guides me want to help me in school. He encourages me to try my best.

Jesse, age 14
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Leann Reynolds

Thank you Mom for always being there for me through thick and thin. You've always supported me no matter what I've set my mind to and I appreciate it so much. I love you Mom and I know you love me too.

Rachel Reynolds
Savannah, GA

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Mentor: James Rice

I want to say THANK YOU ! to Mr. Rice, for ALL that he does for us. He volunteers his time on Wednesdays and Saturdays to work with us, in preparing for the First Robotics competition. I am pretty sure we would be at a lost if it were not for Mr. Rice. He keeps us motivated, and focused on our mission.

Marcus S., age 17
Takoma Park, MD

Mr. Rice,
Thanks for giving your time and attention to our Robotics team. Without your service to us the Robotics team would not have been possible. You are a true American Hero and an inspiration to all young people seeking to be engineers. Your patience is amazing!!! and I don't know how you do it. I found a poem on line and I hope this will inspire you to continue to be our mentor.

One Hundred Years from now
One Hundred Years from now
It will not matter
What kind of car you drove,
What kind of house you lived in,
How much money was in your bank account
Nor what your clothes looked like.
But the world may be a better place because
You were important in the life of a child.

Aquilla B., age 15
Washington DC

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Mentor: Michele Rivas

I have mentor partner and her name is Michele Rivas and what we do together is Fun things together. We go to the movies and spend time together. She goes to my meeting. Also we are starting a scrapbook and we would love to get started on it and we been planning to walk someday when we have nothing to do.

Chenoa Edison
Towaoc, CO

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Mentor: Augy Rizo

I am thankful for Augy because I know he really cares about me. He is special because he knows how to play basketball. He shows me that despite a person’s background they can be very successful.

Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Mr. Robb

Mr. Robb from the Plymouth Canton School District was one of the only men in my childhood to take the time to understand where I was coming from as a misguided teen. He helped me out more than he will ever know, he gave me a sense of usefulness and taught me that the bad decisions I was making in my teens were going to serve as learning experiences. They did.
Thank You Sir.

Jack Crute

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Mentor: Al Rodrigues

As a young man in the mid 70's, there were no descriptions for Mentors, for me the choice was based on having an older man demonstrate all those qualities that were missing in my earlier formative years. Al Rodrigues, had spent time in the US Peace Corp and now retired was sharing his extensive managerial skills within the Malaysian Company I worked for. He singled me out and spent quality time talking with me about how I approached my job. No critiscism or advice, just good listening skills that enabled me to decide on how to rectify some of the traits that were limiting my future as a people manager. An informal mentor, one who gave me direction in life.

Wes Carter
Samson, Australia

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Mentor: Lou Romero

We met over 20 years ago at a work-related event. Lou Romero asked me to help him with a scheduled conflict resolution meeting. That became my opportunity to witness his kind, gentle--yet effective way of bringing people together to resolve issues. After that meeting, he suggested I become more involved in other agency programs that were designed to help government employees discover their talents, skills and leadership qualities. I took him up on his suggestion and found these agency programs to be wonderful opportunities which opened up a world of possibilities for me. My job became more than just a job; it became a fulfilling career with the Forest Service. I am considering retirement in the near future having served as a civil servant for over 30 years. Lou and I have kept in touch and our lives and our children's lives have touched in very meaningful and helpful ways. I owe Lou a debt of gratitude for believing in me, recognizing my potential and sharing of his time, energy and knowledge to help shape my future. Knowing Lou, all he would expect in return is for me to pass on the gift to someone else, which I will. Thank you Lou! Mentoring - the gift that keeps on giving!

Dolores Maese
Las Vegas, NM

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Mentor: Willie Romero

Thank you for being so gracious. The opportunity that you have bestowed upon me will never be forgotten. It will live through me and other students, who you have inspired to provide others with the same life long opportunity.

Latoshia Jennings
Tampa, FL

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Mentor: Brie Roumeliotis

When I think of mentors that have impacted my life, immediately I see the face of a woman. I come from a family of very strong minded and strong willed women. My mother and my grandmother are two people who have always set me straight and have never allowed me to not believe in myself and the dreams that I have sought out.
The other person who comes to mind for me, is Brie Roumeliotis. She has worn many different hats throughout the time I've known her -- as a colleague, a friend, a part of the family...and a mentor in all aspects. She always points out my strengths, reminds me that nothing is impossible and everything is worth trying, and she has an unwavering ability to set me straight when I feel I've lost my way. I look up to her as a professional, respect her as a mentor, and love her as a friend.
With all the trials and tribulations that can bogg a person down. So many people ask "why?"..but Brie reminds me to ask "why not?"
Thank You doesn't begin to express the gratitude I have for the guidance and support that you have given me. But just in case I don't say it enough-- I'm lucky to have you in my life. And Thank you for all that you do and all that you are!

Irene Umipig
Upland, CA

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Mentor: Kellie Sadens

I am thankful for my mentor Kellie because she is very understanding. Kellie is important to me because she’s there when I really need to talk to her. I talk to her about school, my family and what I want to do after high school. My mentor is special because she tries to get together when she has a very busy schedule. I am really thankful that Kellie is my mentor and she helps me when I need her.

Elvia, age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Kris Sadens

I am thankful to have a mentor like Kris because he is a cool person. He is a very important friend to me. He is special because he gives good advice. The time my girlfriend broke up with me he told me just to try not to pay attention to her and she will come back.  Thank you for everything.

Ivar, age 14
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Minerva Sanchez

My mom has helped me with my homework. She also helped me get my grades up so I won't do bad in school. She also tells me to start playing sports to have more friends.

Michael M., age 14
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Alissa Santos

Everyone has a mentor they look up to. My mentor is Ms. Alissa. She has been through the good and the bad [with me]. She has helped me through family, school, friend, and boy problems. She knows what my friends and I are going through. She gives us advice. She is a wonderful person and I'm glad I had a chance to meet my mentor Ms. Alissa.

Isenia A., age 14
San Diego, CA

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Mentor: Carrie Schloss

I am thankful for you because you have helped me learn new skills. I know that I will need it for the art career that I want to pursue. I thank you for staying with me to help me grow and learn. I'm glad that you helped me experience new things.

Cynthia C., age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Robb Schwartz

I am thankful for Robb because he gives me good advice. He always helps me up on to my feet with I am down. He also helps me get through various problems. Robb helps me experience many things that I haven’t before, like cool new places to go, and fun places to eat. He shows me places I have never been and we always have fun together. I am very thankful for my mentor.

Daniel, age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Wendy Scott

My favorite and most influential teacher was my 4th grade grade Miss Wendy Scott. Miss Scott was that teacher who looked beyond the what did or didn't do in class that day and saw the potential in me. I was not the best student in the world and had a difficult time that year. But, Miss Scott made me forget what was going on in the outside world and gave me a chance to see what an education could bring. I have recently gotten back in touch with Wendy, who still teaches not too far from where I first met her. We begun a new relationship now, recalling the past but, also looking to the future. At the time in 4th grade and into middle and high school when I didn't see one I think she knew I would have one. So today I am paying it forward as a middle school teacher and mentor myself. Thank you, Wendy.

Jason Guptill
Hickory, NC

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Mentor: Allen Searson

My dad has always told me the right thing to do in life and has been there for me. He is very funny and everyone loves him. I want to be like him when I grow up.

Allie S., age 17
Savannah, GA

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Mentor: Daya Chandra Shastri

Though there have been a number of outstanding people who inspired me at various stages in my life to become what I am to-day.However my mentor has been my father, Late Sri Daya Chandra Shastri, a SANSKRITACHARYA and educationist, who bestowed on me the basic "Sanskars" which have throught helped me to distinguish between right and wrong,induced in me the sense of being always good to others, desire to be a student always trying to learn. He used to say a man never retires in life of learning. The last lesson he learns is when he is on death bed.

As a result, these days at the age of 76 years I have dedicated my life for the education of the poor and under-privileged children.His memory will always remain fresh in my memory and continue guiding me.

Ramesh Vidyarthi
Durgaon, Haryana, India

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Mentor: Connie Sheesley

I have had the honor of knowing Connie Sheesley for just over two decades. In that time, I have seen the positive impact one person can have on the lives of many. As a student in Mrs. Sheesley's fourth grade class, she inspired me to challenge myself and believe in what I could accomplish. Upon entering college, it was Mrs. Sheesley's love and dedication for her students that inspired me to become a teacher. As a teacher, I could always rely on Mrs. Sheesley for guidance, support and advice. She has forever impacted my life, and I am eternally grateful.

Jeremy Van Wyk
West Des Moines, IA

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Mentor: Floyd Simpson

I am thankful for my mentor because he is really thoughtful and considerate. He shows me how to respect and cherish my family. My mentor is important to me because he has showed me different aspects of life and how to handle different situations. The things I do with my mentor include: going to dinner, talking about school, talking about life in general, and going to the arcade. I always have fun with my mentor.

Jose, age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Joe-Ann Singletary

She came into my life when I was 10yrs. old, this is important because my family life was very unstable. She helped to keep me "grounded" and on the right path. She took me in at the age of 17 when I had no where else to go, still helping to keep me on the right path. Today I am 46 years old and I am proud to say that she is still in my life. I think this THANK YOU way overdue! Thank you Joe-Ann for helping to save my life!

Anna M. Hannah (Parrish)
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Susan Skorupski

Thank you Dr. Skorupski for providing me with your leadership, guidance and strength the last 8 years.
You have inspired me and motivated me to become a better government employee, veterinarian, mother and friend.
There have been ups and downs the last 8 years but you have always been supportive professionally and personally.
You are a wonderful mentor, colleague and friend.
Nancy H.

Nancy Hannaway
Pickerington, OH

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Mentor: Mr. Skougland

Mr. Skougland is one of the best mentors I've had. He is my teacher for fire tech at Mission Hills High School and I respect him very much for being a retired fire fireghter and taking time out of his busy schedule to teach us. In his class I've learned the basics of being a fire fireghter and hope someday to become one like him.

Juvenal Hernandez
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Amanda Sleezer

I am thankful for Amanda because she has always been there for me in my time of need. Amanda is important to me because she is a very good role model. My mentor is special because she always wants me to experience new things.

Tennette, age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Deserae Smith

I am thankful for my mentor Deserae because she is a great person. She is fun to hang out with and talk to. I feel that I can be myself around her also. She is important to me because she is like a big sister or a close friend. My mentor is special because she is a very cool person and likes to do a lot of fun stuff.

Chanel, age 14
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Thomas V. Smith

Mr. Smith was my 10th grade World History teacher. He has remained a mentor and a friend, for over thirty years now. It's said that education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire, and Mr. Smith truly did light the fire of learning for me. I am so very grateful, and can only hope that other young people might have the opportunity to be so blessed by the presence of such a person in their lives.

Robin Nixon
Warrenton, VA

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Mentor: Cedric D. Sparks Sr.

Outside of my relationship with God, I have experienced many wonderful moments in my life. However, there is one that I am simply in awe of right now. I want to take the time to honor someone who has played a significant role in my life changing for the better. I am speaking of my mentor, Mr. Cedric D. Sparks, Sr. He is truly wonderful! From the moment that I met him, he has challenged and inspired me on so many levels and I am truly amazed in the direction that I can go. Case in point, it is just incredible how much Mr. Sparks has challenged me beyond my comfort zone and pushed me to get past my fears. In our mentoring sessions, he listens, never judges me and is always so genuine and honest. I feel blessed to have met him. I am forever grateful for where I am and I know that I am growing from moment to moment. WOW! God has smiled on me through my mentor and I aspire to do the same for someone else.
I salute Mr. Cedric D. Sparks, Sr. for taking the time to invest in my life. He is a true champion!

Latasha Humphrey
Birmingham, AL

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Mentor: Tony Squire

As powerful as the word 'mentor' is, still, it hardly does justice to all Tony Squire has done for the hundreds of young men whose lives he has touched. Tony founded Squire Basketball in Richmond Virginia in 1987. More than just a basketball program, a spot on one of Tony's teams is an education in the qualities of character, teamwork, respect, integrity and self-esteem. He leads and inspires his young men as they make the leap from child to man.
Tony is a man of extraordinary character, compassion and altruism. He has dedicated his life to this mission and receives no compensation for his work. It is a true labor of love for Tony -- and for the coaches who work with him -- which makes the 'hard facts' of what he has accomplished all the more amazing: for a quarter of a century he and his team of volunteers have helped provide unique and life-changing college scholarship opportunities to hundreds of underprivileged youth throughout Richmond and the surrounding areas.
There are no adequate thanks for his efforts. No words that sufficiently could convey all he has done for young men. My prayer is that one day he will find someone or some entity who will sponsor his extraordinary program so that he can devote himself to these efforts full time without having to struggle to make ends meet in his own life. That is my prayer and I can think of no one more deserving!

Kelly Johnson
Henrico, VA

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Mentor: Lisa Steffen

I choose my sister [as a mentor] because she is a good role model. She takes care of me and she takes me shopping. She loves me very much. She is very caring to me. She helps the earth by planting plants. I love you.

Amy S., age 14
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Carmen Stephens


Your presence alone means so much to me, its just unfortunate that there are not enough days in the week nor months in the year to say thank you for the many laughs, time spent, abuse, and hardships I have put you through. You are truly a blessing from God, that I will forever cherish and thank Him for allowing you to come into my life the way that you did and at the time that I needed you. By way of your words, I was provided the opportunity to learn many life lessons that will forever remain with me. Two that stick in mind the most are: (1) 'Life Happens' and there is no way of getting around this fact, you just have to learn to 'GET OVER IT' and be willing to learn the underlying lessons that accompanies them. You also showed me that it is all right to make mistakes, because they help in the molding process of the individual, therefore if no mistakes exist, there is no growth only continuous stagnation. Thank you for having planted this seed, uprooted many of those stubborn weeds, cultivated it, and in the process watched as the metamorphosis took place.

Alexis Payne
Atlanta, GA

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Mentor: Dawn Stirneman

I was a young parent (24 yrs. old) sending my child off to kindergarten. Her teacher that year was someone who changed both of our lives. Dawn not only showed me how to be a grown-up but more importantly, she inspired me to WANT to be a grown-up. I saw the grace and compassion and wisdom that she exhibited and desired that kind of maturity for myself. I will forever be grateful. Thanks Dawn !

Fran Decker
King of Prussia, PA

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Mentor: Carol Stopol

My mentor is a person who is an angel and she is a super star and she is everything for me.She is a rock star and she says to me that I am a smarty pants.Her name is Mrs.Stopol and she is an super teacher. I like to be with her.

Carla O., age 8
Elmont, NY

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Mentor: Mr. Stucchio

I would like to thank Mr. Stucchio for taking time out of his day to mentor me. I am in fourth grade and I just don't like school and homework. Last week we had a movie and popcorn after school and I liked that. My mom and dad say that maybe I'm just bored with school and that I'd rather be playing with my Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSI.
Thank you Mr. Stucchio for all that you do for me.

Thomas A., age 9
Hauppauge, NY

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Mentor: Floyd "Crazy Floyd" Sturtevant

We called him "Crazy Floyd." He called us his "little chemists."
Mr. Sturtevant (the name we used when we addressed him in class) was my high school chemistry teacher at Ames High School in Ames, Iowa. With wispy hair flying in several directions and two eyes that didn?t quite move together, he fit our stereotype of a mad scientist. He was enthusiastic, creative, and passionate about chemistry. He treated all his students with a respect that let us know we were on the cusp of young adulthood.
Thinking back, 35 years later (whoa, has it really been that long?), the memories bubble up to the surface: Learning molecular bonding using gumballs and toothpicks. Washing glassware once after school (I got caught using my squirt bottle inappropriately). Lighting my very own Bunsen burner with a spark igniter.
And, then, there was Homecoming Day.
Mr. Sturtevant told us he was going to use chemistry to predict the winner of that evening?s Homecoming football game. He stood at the front of the class, mixed two colorless liquids in a large beaker, and started stirring.
Nothing happened.
Then, in just a few seconds, the solution turned orange (one of our school colors!). And after several more seconds, the solution turned black (our other school color!!!). From that point on, for the rest of the school year, we truly were his ?little chemists.?
For the next nine months, Mr. Sturtevant found ways to engage both our imaginations and our intellects. Out of my high school graduating class of about 400 students, four of us went on to get Ph.D. degrees in chemistry or biochemistry?-an amazing proportion. I believe all of us can trace our interest in chemistry directly back to Crazy Floyd.

Randy Wedin
Wayzata, MN

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Mentor: Professor M. Sudhir

His Actions Guide the Path
Humility is his Language,
Words are his Power
That is Prof.Sudhir M.who is my teacher and my mentor.
Thank you very much sir for being my mentor.

Rose Swapna
Mangalore, India

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Mentor: Patricia Sullivan-Kriss

Our daugher Taylor was picked to be part of the Hauppauge School District mentoring program. Taylor is 7 years old and lost one of her sisters last year to cancer. This was a devastating thing in our life and in our young daughter's life. Our community has blessed our family in the form of friendship, love, and support. Mrs. Sullivan-Kriss, the superintendent, asked to be our daughter's mentor and we couldn't be more thankful. Taylor feels "very special" and honored to be in the program. She looks forward to the time she will spend with her and it brings a smile to her face when she talks about it. Thanks Mrs. Sullivan-Kriss for making a difference in our daughters life!!! We can't thank you enough.

Taylor Tomkin and Family
Hauppauge, NY

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Mentor: Kelly Sutcliffe

Dear Mrs. Sutcliffe,

Thank you for your time and button-making expertise, especially for pressing that button hundreds of times so that we would have enough buttons to hand out at competition. Thank you also for taking on the robot look team and for donating so much of your time and energy to this club. I hope to see you again next year.

Caitlin W., age 16
Overland Park, KS

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Mentor: Janine Sutter

Janine took me in as a new student in a masters program. She showed belief in me from the onset and has allowed me to test my new found knowledge so that I may grow. I thank you Janine for the support and opportunities that you have given me on my path. If I am "good" today it is partially because of your belief in me yesterday! Thank YOU for YOU!

Lori Hatcher
Gilbert, AZ

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Mentor: Billy Talley

Mr. Talley was a wonderful teacher, mentor, and friend all through my high school years. Thank you for giving me the confidence to be whoever I wanted to be. You showed me how to be a better person. Your faith encouraged me and showed me that it is ok to share my own faith with those around me, even in a public school. Now, as a teacher myself, I want to my students to believe in themselves and to reach for the stars. You were always a great listener, and I knew I could count on you to listen, give me words of advice, and pray for me. Thank you for all the lives you have touched.

Sara Newton
Yukon, OK

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Mentor: Jim Taylor

I am the kid who needed many mentors for all the right reasons: I had no self confidence, no secure family structure and no one to take value in me as a child. When I was 11 I met Jim. He was my teacher and saw me one day dealing with my struggles. He befriended me and our friendship is still my most valued thing in life. I found myself loving him over the years like a parent.

Jayme (Kegley) Fisher

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Mentor: Steve Taylor

Mr. Taylor became my band director when I was in the sixth grade. I immediately felt a connection with him because he was so enthusiastic and encouraging, not only to me, but to all the students he taught. I was an overweight child, not pretty, and with not much confidence, yet, fortunately, had a natural talent at playing the clarinet. Mr. Taylor heard that talent and encouraged me to take private lessons to improve my skills so that I could become a "better-than-average" player. Once I was in junior high, Mr. Taylor encouraged me to try playing a solo at the local Solo and Ensemble contest. I remember my first contest: I was a seventh grader and so nervous, but I had practiced very hard and Mr. Taylor was there to cheer me on. And I can remember feeling so proud of myself, with such a sense of accomplishment, following that performance - not-to-mention that I received a "superior" rating (the best rating one could receive!). I played a solo at the contest every year after that until I graduated from high school, each year getting a "superior" or "excellent" rating. Yes, those top honors came from all the practice and hard work I put into them, but I would not have achieved those honors had it not been for Mr. Taylor's encouragement and for empowering me. When I was a senior in high school I was elected president of the band. I was so proud of that role and appreciate the opportunity of leadership that gave me. Mr. Taylor demonstrated great leadership skills to me by the way he conducted his classes and handled "challenging" students. Today, I work with children in my profession. When I have a child that is a challenge I often think to myself, "how would Mr. Taylor handle this child?". I am so very thankful to have had Mr. Taylor as a mentor.

Jackie Wynn
Wooster, OH

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Mentor: Amy Thornton

My mentor is a very special person to me. Mrs. Thornton was my 2nd grade teacher. At first, I was shy around her, but then I found out we liked the same things and we started talking more. We both love Disney, cats and running. Mrs. Thornton's a great runner! She runs in marathons, and one day I'm going to run in a marathon, too. She is my inspiration because she teaches me that I can do anything I want to do in life. Just keep trying and never give up. But here is the reason why Mrs. Thornton has made such a difference in my life. Last year, my grandpa died suddenly. My life went from being happy to devastated in seconds. I was so close to him, and I felt like my heart was broken. I went back to school, and Mrs. Thornton helped me deal with my loss. She was always there to give me a hug and to talk to me when I needed it. She went out of her way to comfort me and give me extra attention. I never would have gotten through that bad time in my life without Mrs. Thornton. She offered to be my mentor this year so I could still spend time with her because she knew I needed that. Mrs. Thornton is the most wonderful, sweet and caring person in the world! She takes the time every day to talk to me and give me a hug, and being with her at all the mentoring events makes me so happy! I am so grateful to have Mrs. Thornton in my life! Thank you so much Mrs. Thornton for being my mentor and my friend. I love you!!

Deanna D., age 8
Hauppauge , NY

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Mentor: Peter Thorpe

Peter has been my "Big Brother" for over 8 years. He and his wife Kathy, and daughter Annie are part of my family now. Peter has never let me down, and is always my biggest supporter.
I can always count on him to listen, and give me advice when I need it. He is very smart and I have learned a lot from him.I want to pass on what Peter has done for me, when I get older, I will be a big brother to a kid that just needs someone on his side. Peter has always been on my side, and I know I can always count on him.I laugh at Peter now because I am taller than he is, so now he is the "little" brother.Peter is the only big brother that would have worked out for me I think, and I am thankful to have him in my life. Thank you Peter for always being there for me!

James Smith
Hendersonville, NC

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Mentor: Kristi Treadway

Dear Mrs.Treadway, I have really enjoyed being your mentee. It's been more than a year and every meeting we have spent together has been wonderful. You're funny, sweet, kind, and caring. All I just want to say is thanks. I hope my sister and will continue on to be your mentee. Thank you for being really nice and a real pleasure to me. I really enjoy spending time with you. I hope you can stay my mentor for the rest of the time we spend together. And thank you for giving me a good time and I really appreciate that.

Meghan Marks
Marietta, GA

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Mentor: Christopher Tricarico

My mentor is so much fun. We play games like 'Connect Four', basketball, and 'Clue'. I am very happy that my mentor and I get to spend time together.

Omar H., age 9
Elmont, NY

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Mentor: Carolyn Tully

I am a fourth grade student from Elmont, NY. When Ms. Tully comes to pick me up I feel so happy. I feel lucky to have her as my mentor.

Malayna J., age 9
Elmont, NY

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Mentor: Nikole Turcotte

I am thankful for Nikole because she does a lot for me. She is always there for me to talk to. Nikole is important to me because she is somebody I can trust.

Shamara, age 15
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: C. Turner

Mr. Turner was my 7th grade teacher at Pacific Jr. High School and inspired me to learn Spanish by:(1) believing in me and my ability to learn another language besides English; and (2) inspiring me to do this by tutoring me in Spanish voluntarily one-half hour after school each week so I could enter his Spanish class midway through the semester! He had confidence in my abilities and I felt so inspired and encouraged with his help that it raised my self-esteem, took me out of a remedial reading class I had been misplaced into and challenged me to learn more and believe in myself more. I have wanted to thank him so often over the years - so I will do so again in this way over the internet. (I had written a letter years ago but was not sure he had received it!) I would like to thank him so very much for taking the time to tutor me voluntarily and caring enough to help a student move forward and believe in herself. Thank you, Mr. Turner! I hope to do the same thing you did for me someday for someone else, and use the language you inspired me to learn. THANK YOU! Sincerely, LuWana

LuWana Wiechmann
Seattle, WA

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Mentor: Josephine Turner

I want to thank a very special person, Dr. Josephine Turner, for recognizing my commitment to a graduate degree and plucking me out of the masses to be her teaching assistant. Not only did she offer an entirely new subject matter world to me, she had the confidence in my abilities to turn over an extraordinary amount of responsibility to me early on. Because she believed in me, I believed in myself. And when it was her turn to leave the university she left me very well-prepared to step into her shoes and take on her teaching load. That experience prepared me for everything I have done professionally since then. It hasn't necessarily been a straight road but, if I follow the twists and turns, they all lead back to Jo Turner, a great mentor and good friend.

Maria Hein
Portland, OR

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Mentor: Sue Urbanczyk

I am thankful for Sue because she is very supportive of me. She helps me with my homework and other parts of life. Sue is also a very good friend and is always there for me.

Kayla, age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Suzanna Valdez

Just over a year ago, I started a job where I work with Suzanna Valdez. I have never known someone who balances passion, integrity and purpose as she does, everyday. She inspires me to be a better person and, thereby, a better leader. While her job defines her as my boss, I will always be grateful to her as my mentor.

Suzanna demonstrates respect for everyone she meets while being clear about concerns or suggestions that she has. Of course, it is important to listen to people but more than listening, engaging with others with awareness and focus, makes a leader someone people can believe in and are eager to follow. There is a calm in Suzanna's approach to leadership that succeeds in motivating others from within themselves. Her management style is based on support of positivity and creativity; she really drives people to identify possible avenues of change and innovate ways to navigate them. I don?t know if she is aware of how much her team looks to her as a mentor, but she makes herself available anytime any one of us requests her advice or guidance.

Suzanna is also a remarkably humble person. She is empathic, involved and professional at all times. She has shown me that one can balance personal control with personal integrity. As a progressive activist turned political appointee, I have struggled at times to manage my frustrations with the system as it is. Suzanna continues to support me as she does all of staff and colleagues, observing me and calmly reminding me through her actions that patience and determination, when combined gracefully, make the greatest difference. I am extraordinarily fortunate to have her as a role model and a mentor.

Thank you, Suzanna, for all you do.

Kathryn R. Moore
Miami, FL

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Mentor: Brianna & Maryanne Van Burger

I am writing this tribute to a mother & daughter team that together have made a huge impact on my life & on many lives in our community. Brianna (Bri) is 14 on Thank Your Mentor Day so this Thank you is timely too. Bri & her mom, Maryanne work diligently on their Angels Over Iraq & Afghanistan program to raise funds & items to box & ship to soldiers overseas. They have created a club of close to 20 young people who hold store fundraisers, garage sales, car washes, bake sales & create crafts for sale. Bri is the organizer of the group & Maryanne makes the contacts, dedicates her time driving, phone calling & managing the paperwork. Together they make a great team & are a true testiment to how well a mother & daughter can work together to influence others. It has been my pleasure to work with them and to be shaped into wanting to do more with less just because one can. Thank you Bri & Maryanne for your hard work & dedication & Happy Birthday Bri.

Maria Dixson
Candor, NY

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Mentor: Clyde Vanel

When I was an undergraduate, I did an internship at a Law Firm on Wall street. This Law Firm was owned by a Lawyer that was making an entrepreneur move in his career and I was seeking some form of direction in my life. My whole life changed by the simple influence of a positive, responsible person; the Lawyer I interned for. I came from a place where many girls like myself do not even make it through high school, let alone attend college. I always knew that I had to take responsibility for my own education, in which my family lacked. I grew up with no mother and father, my grandmother raised me until her death, in which I was only fifteen. Without the guidance or support I got myself into a lot of problems. I still had aspirations to attend college. the Lawyer has never had knowledge of my past or experiences which made me rather afraid of people, particularly men and the relationship i lacked and suffered from as a child growing into a young lady. The Lawyer I worked for showed me that their are respectable, honest, upstanding citizens in today and age. Furthermore he taught me what it takes to be self-sufficient and self-accountable. He showed me that anything you want to do is possible and that every thing begins with an idea. Since that experience I made numerous mistakes, yet I always had an example of someone I knew that existed and never tried to take advantage of me, always upheld professional and moral excellence. It made me believe that I too could be an upstanding, respectable, self-sufficient woman. Most importantly it changed my perception of myself and how i viewed the world, which is priceless knowledge to ever acquire.

Rachel Gold-Brown
Corona, NY

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Mentor: Dusty Vaught

My mentor Dusty Vaught is the best. She helped me out so much my first semester at Texas State; she helped me figure out schedule and work information and so much more! She was there for me when I was going through a hard time of my life last semester and still found ways to make me smile. She spolied me with goodies for finals and gave me hand when ever I needed it. I am so lucky to have her as my mentor.

Jessica Sambrano
Martindale, TX

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Mentor: Srini Veradarajan

Dear Srini,
Thank you for helping and supporting me throughout my entire years in high school. I want to thank you for being my friend and always being there for me. You have given me great advice and I will always take it with me wherever I go.

Juan J., age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Aurelie Voix

You are a person who maked my life easier and better,for everyone around you infect. Your continual acts of thoughtfulness and kindness brighten each day. What you did for me will glow in my memory, reviving pleasant feelings every time I think about it. I appreciate you,and I thank you.

Noluthando Hermanus
Cape Town, South Africa

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Mentor: Lynne Wade

My first boss -- her name is Lynne Wade (Tomko).
She angered me at first because she was so honest, so direct and I was so rebellious. I wasn't aware of how the rebel must be tamed, to be useful. I watched her all the time because she came from where I was at the time -- in poverty. She had been a young parent and I was when I met her.
She had a degree and she spoke so eliquently, in a formal register, which I learned from her and those skills helped me in my work. I leaned how to be open, honest and direct with people, but with empathy and a mind that was open to learning instead of teaching, as I grew older.
She became my friend after our formal relationship ended and every time I turn around to look at my past, I see her.
I love you Lynne! Thank you for all you did for me and thank you for believing in me!

Mary Roberto
Littleton, CO

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Mentor: Marie Wagnon

When I was a high school student, I didn't realize what a good thing I had with a French teacher who went far beyond the call of duty to get myself and other classmates passionate about learning French and appreciating French culture. Marie Wagnon (aka "Madame") worked late into the night every night preparing homework and correcting papers for the next day. Unlike other language teachers, she planned extracurricular activites such as French food nights at her private home and in French restaurants. I became so passionate about learning French that I signed up to become an exchange student in France after my Junior Year. "Madame" actually arranged to meet me in Paris to show me around for a day! By the time I finished mySenior year in high school, I was convinced I was going to become a French major in college. I went on to graduate with a B.A. in French and then studied International Business for a year. She continued to stay in touch with me by providing references to graduate schools and employers. My love of the French language, which Madame instilled in me, has changed my life forever. My family has since hosted 7 foreign exchange students and my own daughters have expressed an interest in studying French and international business. Without such a great mentor in my life, I am positive that my life would have taken a different turn! I have continued to stay in touch with Madame, even through her 80th birthday party celebration this past week.

Kim Prock
Folsom, CA

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Mentor: Stacia Walfall

I would like to thank my Mentor because she is very nice. She always like to protect kids and help them make the right decision. When I first came to my new school she helped me to try to change my bad ways. She teaches me how to shoot a basketball correctly. She is the best person that I ever met!

Jennica P.L., age 10
Elmont, NY

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Mentor: Fr. Tom Walsh

Fr. Tom,
I would like to thank you for all of your support. Without it, I would not have been able to accomplish what I tried so hard to do or be able to attend a great school. Because I'm attending Holy Trinity High School, I will be able to get a good education and get into a great college. Thank you for your help, I will not let you down.

Fabian P., age 17
Chicago, IL

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Mentor: Jack Warren

Jack you have been an awesome mentor! It is awesome to be with you because you are so fun. I know how busy you are and how much you work but thank you for finding the time to spend with me. Thank you for also being my Cub Scout helper. I would not want any other mentor other than you. Maybe someday we can go fishing again.
Your friend,

Chandler C.
White Lake, MI

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Mentor: Terry Weight

Terry Weight was a magnificent man. He posses the special gift living principles that when he talks his speech touches everyone hearts. I have seen when he spoke to the audience and almost half of them had tears dropped from their eyes.He also posses excellent leadership skills from his experience as a military commander, church leader, and his current position of Director from the Alaska Labor Department. I have learned many things from my mentor sessions with him. I want to thank Terry Weight for his volunteer to be my Mentor for the Anchorage Leadership Year 11. I still have a lot more to learn from him and hope for his continuous support and help coaching me thru this leadership session and I hope to continue to be friend with him and learn other things from him. Thank you again. Respectfully,

Tom Lee
Palmer, AK

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Mentor: Mrs. Geraldine White

God blessed me by placing me in the 1st headstart class in 1969, with you as the headteacher. He increased my blessing by having you care enough to introduce me to God. Not only did you educate my mind during the week, but you also constructed my pathway for life. Words can only hope to touch on the magnitude of what you have done for my life, my childrens lives, and hopefully my future grandchildrens lives. My prayer is that God will continue to touch your heart and provide to you all that you have bestowed on others. When you teach, you truly touch others with the hand of God for life. His word says 'Train up a child as he should go, and when he is old he will not depart' and you have. May God smile kindly upon you forever, and you continue to deliver His knowledge and wisdom. I praise God for you. Thank you and God bless, Sister R. Baltimore

Sister R. Baltimore
Elizabeth, NJ

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Mentor: Alysa Whitesell

Thank you for helping me with all kinds of stuff. Alysa is my sister and she keeps me out of trouble and helps me with anything.

Christopher Whitesell
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Deidre H. Whitfield

I have so much to say about my mentor Deidre Whitfield,but there is not enough words allowed for me to express how I truly appreciate her. I just want to say in short "Thank You" for touching the lives of others especially mine by giving of your time,knowledge,energy and self through mentoring.

Qwana Falkenberg
Milledgeville, GA

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Mentor: Sandra Whitley

I am so grateful to the powerful military women expecially LTC Nadine Lane and LTC Sandra Whitley who gave unconditionally. These women gave of their time to push me, counsel me and guided me. The system saw a number they saw a heart. A heart that would have to deal with the impact of the war zone over five times as a single mother, a heart that would hurt but would dig deeply for that courage to press on because others needed me. A heart that learned quickly to leave the bitterness for another day. LTC Nadine Lane & LTC Sandra Whitley gave me wings that I could fly...To give when you didnt have the time to give, to teach when you werent taught, to smile and give that listening hear when you were crying inside. I say, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, couldn't have done it without you.

Loreen Lisle
Fort Belvoir, VA

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Mentor: Jan Williams

Jan has been an amazing friend. I consider her someone that I can tell my deepest thoughts to and she'll listen and support me. She is like a second mom to me and has been loving and supportive since I was a young girl. I appreciate all she has done for me and I hope that she knows I love her. Jan, you are a wonderful person and I'm glad that your in my life. Thank you.

Alicia Nix
San Marcos, CA

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Mentor: Maggi Williams

I played basketball in high school for a woman named Ms. Maggi Williams. I really admired her when I played for her because she set very high expectations for us both on and off the court. We all knew that she expected the best out of us. Our practices were hard but it paid off. I graduated from high school in 1991 and played a little bit after that but my focus was on college and beginning a career. In 2001, I decided to train for the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon with Team in Training, an organization that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Distance running had never been a strength of mine but during those long, two-hour runs, I could hear Ms. Williams' voice in my mind, "Push yourself! Don't quit!" It was then that I realized she had embedded those two phrases in me...when I run, when I work, when I parent. Thanks, Ms. Williams, for the gift of perseverance.

Jenni Francis
Cincinnati, OH

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Mentor: Roger Williams

I don't know if I ever said thanks to you for pointing me in the right direction after high school. You told me that I was going to college and because you did not give me any other option, I earned a degree that is very beneficial to me. I have a job that I love. Had you not been there and insisted that I go to college, I don't know what I would be doing today. Thanks for always being there in so many ways.

Regina Reid
Lincolnton, GA

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Mentor: Smiley Williams

I would like to thank my mentor Mr. Smiley Williams for supporting and encouraging me to do better in school and in my life. Thank you for all of the motivation you gave me it has really helped me. I am now a freshmen in college going on my second semester and I'm looking forward to transferring to UTSA after I have completed community college. Thank you for all the encouragement that has helped me continue to succeed in my school and the goals I have set for my future.

Mariano A.
San Antonio, TX

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Mentor: Ann Zeiler

Dear Ann,
Thank you for everthing you have done. You have helped in many ways and you are a special person in my life. My family and I appreciate you very much. Thank you for the birthday gift and for taking me ice skating also. I really enjoyed it.

Valencia L., age 17
Chicago, IL

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© 2013 President and Fellows of Harvard College