Mentor Michigan and former University of Michigan head football coach Lloyd Carr announced today the recipients of the 2011 Lloyd Carr MVP Mentoring Awards. The second annual awards are given to five youths in Michigan who best exemplify the extraordinary benefits of a mentoring relationship.
"Mentoring can have an impact on young people; often helping them improve their attitude, grades, and relationships," said Lloyd Carr, one of Mentor Michigan's current spokesmen. "These awards recognize those benefits and highlight five exceptional Michigan high school students."
The five recipients are all currently enrolled in high school and are engaged in formal mentoring matches. Each winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship, courtesy of Mentor Michigan, to attend college or a trade school. An awards ceremony will be held on the campus of the University of Michigan on Monday, January 31, 2011. Mentor Michigan is an initiative of the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC).
"The importance of a college education is a significant conversation many mentors have with their mentees," said Amber Troupe, director of Mentor Michigan. "Mentor Michigan is pleased to be able to help support these young people's future goals and encourage their dreams."
The winners include:
- Caitlyn Cardosa of Grand Rapids is a 17-year-old junior at Northview High School. She has been matched with her mentor, Nan Dykema, since 2006 through the school's mentoring program. At the time Caitlyn was an angry young person who seldom ever smiled. But over the years Caitlyn has blossomed through their relationship, allowing her to come out of her shell and engage in new activities with Nan's encouragement. She is now a vibrant young woman with a contagious giggle. Nan has also taught her the value of planning for the future, and Caitlyn now hopes to pursue a career in Criminalistics upon graduation.
- Austin Jarvis of Farmington Hills is a 17-year-old junior at Harrison High School. He has been matched with his mentor, Marvin Hirsch, since 2005 through Mentor Connection at Jewish Family Services. Having grown up without a father, Austin has benefitted from the various activities Marvin has exposed him to; including sharing common interests in history, sports, boating, and music. Marvin has helped Austin become a better student and person and taught him the value of giving back to others. Austin would like to attend Michigan State University or the University of Michigan after graduation and hopes to one day give back, possibly as a mentor.
- Nikki Jenks of Mt. Pleasant is a 18-year-old senior at Mt. Pleasant High School. She has been matched for more than a year with her mentor, LeeAnn Ludwig, through the Michigan Youth Opportunity Initiative's H.O.P.E. Mentoring Program. This program serves foster care youth in Mid-Michigan and focuses on helping them prepare for adulthood. While at first shy, Nikki has transformed into a confident, young woman who experiences hope and joy thanks to LeeAnn's encouragement. Following graduation, Nikki would like to attend Western Michigan University and find a way to help a young person just as she was.
- Josie Krocker of Grand Rapids is an 18-year-old junior at Creston High School. She has been matched with her mentor, Mimi Champlin, for more than a year through Bethany Christian Services' Life Skills mentoring program. This program looks to support young people in the foster care system, something Josie has been a part of since she was a child. Their mentoring relationship has grown through their mutual interest in art and has helped Josie focus on her future and develop the necessary skills to handle difficult situations that may come up along the way. She has prioritized her education and wants to attend college after graduation.
- Jesse Spencer of Flint is a 17-year-old junior at Madison Academy. He has been matched since 1997 (when he was just four-years-old) with his mentor, Roy Smyth, through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Flint. As a result, Roy is a very big part of Jesse's life and has become more than just a "Big Brother." Roy has helped instill the importance of school and giving back in Jesse and afforded him various opportunities to participate in local activities. His mentor has also taught him the value of making good decisions and building strong relationships. Upon graduation next year, Jesse would like to join the Navy and perhaps someday become a police officer.
The 2011 Lloyd Carr MVP Mentoring Awards fall during the annual Michigan Mentoring Month, an event held every January to showcase the importance and impact of mentoring in communities across the state. Many mentoring programs in Michigan are in need of more mentors. If you are interested, visit the Mentor Michigan Directory located at www.mentormichigan.org.
Mentor Michigan supports nearly 250 organizations around the state that are changing lives by matching mentors with young people. Mentor Michigan provides those organizations with training and research. It fosters partnerships with businesses, faith-based and nonprofit organizations, schools, colleges and universities, and state and local government to support mentoring. Mentor Michigan also builds public awareness about the importance of and the need for mentors by urging caring adults to "Pass It On," because sharing a little of yourself with a young person can reward both of you with lifelong benefits.
Note: Mentor Michigan is happy to provide photos of the event or individual winners following the January 31 event in Ann Arbor. Please contact Elyse V. Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org (269)845-2227 to request a copy.