Proudly Announcing the 2017 Excellence in Mentoring Award Recipients

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
January 17th, 2017
Posted In: National Mentoring Summit, Recognition

Barbara Carlson Gage, Julie Magallanes Guevara, Brandon L. McGee Jr., Samuel Powel

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership is proud to announce this year’s recipients of the Excellence in Mentoring Awards! These awards are presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to meeting the mentoring needs of young people at the national, state or local level. Nominations were submitted by members of MENTOR’s national network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships and national mentoring and youth-serving partner organizations. Held at a special Library of Congress reception, this event will kick off the seventh-annual National Mentoring Summit.

The Honorees

Carlson Gage (1)Barbara Carlson Gage

President & Chairperson, The Carlson Family Foundation

The Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota (MPM) and mentoring program practitioners in its network have always been impressed and humbled by the leadership of the Carlson Family Foundation President, Barbara Carlson Gage. Each year, Gage and C. David Nelson, Executive Director of the Foundation, attend MPM’s annual Minnesota Mentoring Conference to hear about the latest research impacting the field and learn how different mentoring programs impact youth in the community. Practitioners often express how honored they are that Gage and Nelson choose to eat lunch with them instead of attending a special lunch with guest speakers and other conference funders. Gage and the executive leadership of the Carlson Family Foundation were also influential supporters of MPM’s idea to create an online program assessment based on best practices for mentoring programs. They demonstrated an ideal partnership between funder and grantee by engaging in the process and serving on the advisory committee, while allowing mentoring practitioners the autonomy to guide the creation of a tool that would benefit the field. The result was the QMAP, a quality assessment tool that is being used to support the development of the national QMS at MENTOR.

Magallanes Guevara (1)Julie Magallanes Guevara

Director of Strategic Partnerships & Special Events, Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters

Julie Magallanes Guevara has worked in many capacities to grow the mentoring movement. She founded the Latino Advisory Board to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles in 1994 and served as the chair for six years (’98-’04) before becoming a founding member of the National Big Brothers Big Sisters Hispanic Advisory Board in 2004 and chair in 2006. During that time, she also worked on Mayor Villaraigosa’s management team, created a public service academy for young Latinas, and was a founding member of the LAtinas Initiative to engage Latina high school students with an interest in public service. In 2014, Magallanes Guevara promoted a leadership conference for Great Minds in STEM where panelists addressed the growing number of in-school and out-of-school programs aimed at advancing STEM education in historically underserved communities. This conference offered young students the opportunity to interact with individuals working in the fields they are studying at universities, giving them the opportunity to interact and ask questions with real life STEM mentors. Magallanes Guevara is also very involved with the LAPD’s youth programs and chairs the Board of CYAL (Community Youth Activities League) of Newton Division in South Central Los Angeles.

Mcgee (1)Brandon L. McGee Jr.

ASCEND Mentoring, Board President

Brandon McGee credits his mentor, June Archer, with much of his success. He serves as the President of the Board of Directors of Ascend Mentoring Program, is co-founder and mentor with D.I.E.S.E.L. Leadership Academy, and advocates for funding mentoring programs as Assistant Majority Leader in the Connecticut state legislature, proudly representing Windsor and Hartford. He has advocated for the Governor’s Prevention Partnership at both the state and national levels, worked to incorporate mentoring into his neighborhood in the Northeast section of Hartford, and promoted bringing the innovative EdCorpsCT mentoring model to the Simpson-Waverly School. McGee has called on corporations and his colleagues in the legislature to support and become mentors at a number of events including sharing his own personal story of how an adult investing in his life made him the person he is today.

Powel (1)Samuel Powel

Creative Technical Consultant, Google

Samuel Powel has directly mentored eight students over the past three years through the Spark program in Los Angeles, which inspires 7th, 8th and 9th graders in underserved communities to succeed in high school and beyond by engaging them with mentors and future careers. In addition to mentoring, Powel acts as “Corporate Ambassador” to rally colleagues and embrace all that Spark can bring to the workplace. Powel leads the yearlong effort to recruit and inspire Google employees and managers to volunteer as mentors. He has recruited 49 employees to mentor middle grade students from underserved communities throughout Los Angeles. Of those 49 mentors, 21 have signed up to mentor for at least two semesters. He was a pivotal lead in acquiring a $200,000 corporate donation from Google for Spark by collaborating with leadership and promoting and highlighting a Google employee mentoring with Spark. Powel has also fundraised within Google to acquire $6,800 in employee donations and matched gifts since 2014.


The National Mentoring Summit, convened by MENTOR, is the only national forum that brings together practitioners, researchers, corporate partners, government and civic leaders, national youth-serving organizations and the network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships to explore and advance mentoring’s positive impact on individuals and communities.

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