As the only national convening of youth mentoring practitioners, researchers, philanthropic partners and leaders, the National Mentoring Summit provides attendees with an opportunity to engage in skill building, peer learning, advocacy and networking. Every year since the Summit’s founding, MENTOR has received requests from mentoring practitioners who want to attend and learn to improve their program quality, deepen their impact and scale their efforts but who, given their organization’s limited budget, require financial assistance.
In response to these requests and with the generous support of AT&T, State Street Corporation, and an anonymous donor, MENTOR launched the Summit Fellowship Program to provide a select number of scholarships to leaders from mentoring programs operating with a budget of $150,000 or less. As many in the mentoring field know, this type of work requires unyielding passion and a selfless commitment to others, but unfortunately, on far too many occasions due to financial constraints, does not provide access to professional development opportunities. To address this challenge, we are thrilled to be able to offer nine Fellows the opportunity to attend the 2017 National Mentoring Summit through the Summit Fellowship Program.
Our inaugural cohort of Fellows was selected based on their leadership-potential and experience, eagerness to build their professional skills and networks, demonstrated financial need, and personal commitment to helping young people succeed. The Fellows represent a diverse group of dedicated practitioners whose mentoring programs are committed to quality and continuously innovating to make a greater impact on young people in their communities. Read about them below, and, if you are attending the Summit, make sure to say hello!
2017 Summit Fellows
Program and Communications Coordinator, Best Friends Mentoring Program
A graduate of Wheaton College (Illinois) and the University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana, Mark has worked in the non-profit sector for the past 15 years. After witnessing first-hand the value of mentoring while hosting exchange students, he devoted his career to establishing and building quality youth mentoring in rural North Dakota. Married with three teenagers, Mark has completed 25 marathons in 7 states.
Detention Coordinator, Reading for Life
South Bend, IN
After graduating from Indiana University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, Heather began working as the Detention Coordinator at the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center, using the Reading for Life curriculum to mentor groups of incarcerated teens. The positive impact this program has made on so many children has truly given her purpose. When Heather is not working, she can be found spending time with her 3 little girls.
Executive Director, Communities in Schools of Caldwell County
As a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Appalachian State University who holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University, Debbie works as the Executive Director with Communities in Schools of Caldwell County, NC while also serving as Vice President of the Career Development Division at the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce and on the Board of the Shelter Home. She worked as a volunteer in the Girl Scouts organization for over 25 years and has received many adult leadership awards in scouting.
Mentor Coordinator, Cobb Mentoring Matters
With a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Georgia State University, Maryellen works as the Mentor Coordinator for the Cobb onhealthy valtrex County School district where she oversees the district’s flagship school-based mentoring program she created called Cobb Mentoring Matters. Since inception, the program has created a turn-key program for businesses, churches and civic organizations to play an important role in the educational process for the students in Cobb County. Maryellen enjoys spending time with her family and friends and bike riding.
Amber D. Green
Youth and Alumni Manager, Trinity River Mission
Having received a B.A. in psychology from Lake Forest College (Lake Forest, IL) and a Master’s of Social Work Degree from the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, Amber now works for Trinity River Mission—an educational nonprofit in West Dallas serving at-risk K-12 students and their families. Amber manages the Believe and Achieve Scholarship and Mentoring Program for middle school and high school students, promoting college-going culture by providing students with life, college, and career readiness skills, as well as mentors to support their journey to educational, professional, and personal success.
Teen Pals Program Coordinator, Brown County Human Services Department
Green Bay, WI
Dustin is a youth advocate specializing in services for teens with direct experience in mentoring, child welfare, foster care, and Independent Living Services. He is currently the Program Coordinator of the Teen Pals program, a mentoring service of the Brown County Human Services Department in Green Bay, WI designed to serve youth ages 13-18 by pairing them with a caring volunteer who can work with the youth to build confidence, life skills, independence, and lifelong connections. Pals is an example of what can be accomplished through collaboration between youth, adults, and the surrounding community.
Program Director, Institute of Youth Development and Excellence
A graduate of Mt. Saint Joseph College with a degree in Humanities and Liberal Arts, Mariam was born in Mexico, learned English in high school, and has worked in various aspects of youth development. She’s worked in schools as a language teacher, supported bilingual literacy programs, and worked with families as a Home Visitor for Every Child Succeeds. She currently works as Program Director at the Institute of Youth Development and Excellence where she manages volunteer development and develops programs for young children.
Project Director, JBU Mentoring Program, Unity Family Community Center, Inc.
After 11 years serving at-risk youth in the state of Florida, Kelvin moved to Australia in 2013 where he worked with indigenous youth and learned a new perspective for mentoring young people. In 2015, he returned to the United States and began his new career with Unity Family Community Center, Inc. For the past year, Kelvin has worked hard to create UFCC’s new mentoring program, JBU Mentors, which aims to reduce delinquency, enhance exposure, and increase academic performance through one-on-one or group mentoring.
Jamila M. Trimuel
Founder and Executive Director, Ladies of Virtue
With a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a Master’s of Science in Health Systems Management from Rush University, a Master’s of Science in Educational Leadership from the Broad Center, Jamila is the Founder of Ladies of Virtue (LOV). LOV is a Gold Star Mentoring Program, recognized by the Illinois Mentoring Partnership, and instills purpose, passion, and perseverance in girls, ages 9-18, while preparing them for college, career, and to become change agents in their communities.