In celebration of National Mentoring Month and the launch of In Real Life, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) has chosen to recognize those who have demonstrated a deep commitment to delivering critical connections to our nation’s young people to aid them in achieving success at home, school and ultimately in the workforce. This blog series will feature weekly posts throughout the month of January, and focus on an individual’s proven commitment to youth mentoring and the powerful impact it has had for youth in real life.
Committed to giving back to their community and the children of Florida, Will and Drew Weatherford have supported the youth mentoring movement by mentoring young people for a number of years.
Accomplished businessmen with ties to the worlds of state politics and college and professional football, the Weatherford brothers have shared their stories and experiences with young people in hopes of inspiring those most in need of caring adult role models.
Through Take Stock in Children, the Weatherford brothers committed to mentoring teenage twin brothers, Isiah and Isaac in 2011.
Like other young people, Isiah and Isaac grew up in a financially unstable, single-parent household, and often struggled to find support and direction in school or at work. With help from Will and Drew, Isiah and Isaac found the additional guidance they were looking for.
The brothers met weekly to discuss college and career opportunities, were invited to attend special events, including Will’s swearing-in ceremony as Speaker of the Florida House, and were invited to serve as messengers in the Florida legislature.
Isiah and Isaac’s academic performances improved, and with help from Will and Drew, the brothers led a local initiative that collected more than 1,000 books for local schools. Today, Isiah and Isaac attend a local university and spend much of their time helping others.
“Being a mentor to Isiah and Isaac has been a wonderful blessing in my life. I feel enriched by our friendship. Their story personifies how young people can overcome great odds to do wonderful things,” Will Weatherford said.
Will and Drew are committed to our nation’s young people through their work with Take Stock in Children and other organizations, and have been active on local and statewide program boards in support of children’s education and youth mentoring.