MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) and the Cabot Creamery Cooperative are proud to honor Dr. Edgar Villamarin for his excellent service through mentoring as winner of the 2017 #MentoringCruise contest!
For the past six years, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, a dairycooperative of 1,100 farm families in New England and New York and makers of the “World’s Best Cheddar,” has recognized the hard work of volunteers making a difference in communities around the country with the Cabot Community Celebrity Cruise. In the hope of promoting the power of mentoring, Rosario Di Prima, Vice President of Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters (CBBBS) in Los Angeles, submitted a poignant story describing the amazing work Edgar has done with his “Little Brother,” Ulises. This story was selected out of over 60 nominations to be featured in a social media contest where it garnered nearly 2,000 votes and finally won Edgar a trip for two on an all-expense paid Alaskan cruise. On the ship, Edgar and 60 other award recipients will participate in workshops and share their perspectives, while also enjoying the sights and entertainment.
Edgar and Ulises were matched 11 years ago when Ulises was six and learning English from flashcards. Edgar, for whom English was also a second language, helped Ulises with homework and read Ulises’ favorite book to him over and over until Ulises could read it himself. Since then, their relationship has grown stronger as they’ve participated in 5K races together and attended numerous basketball games. However, it is Edgar’s love for the community that particularly resonates with Ulises and encouraged him to pursue a career as a not-for-profit immigration lawyer.
“I would like to congratulate my Big Brother Edgar on winning this contest!” Ulises shared when told the news of their story coming out on top. “Edgar is a great role model that has put a lot of hard work in helping me get into college and also in helping our community. This recognition is well deserved, congrats, Edgar, and thank you!”
That gratitude goes both ways. “The win is not all mine – it is for Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters in Los Angeles, Cabot Creamery Cooperative and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership for supporting the mentoring movement,” said Edgar, a well-respected clinical psychologist who has often spoken to the power of mentoring on television and radio. “Sharing our story gives me the chance to encourage others to mentor and be there for young people in a positive and transformative way.”
CBBBS also hopes to facilitate the mentoring movement growth in Los Angeles. “Edgar is a great champion for mentoring,” said Ken Martinet, CEO of CBBBS. “This national recognition enables us to continue our work together in advocating for youth facing adversity.”
In reading the many incredible mentoring stories submitted through the #MentoringCruise contest, MENTOR was inspired by the numerous ways mentors are guiding youth and learning their own life lessons. Edgar’s story is just one example of the incredible difference mentoring can make in the life of a young person. Share your own story with MENTOR at #MentorIRL to show the impact you or someone you know is making for a better world and consider becoming a mentor today.
Watch last year’s #MentoringCruise winner Chelsy S. talk about how mentoring has made a difference in her life!