Thursday January 26, 2012
January 18th, 170 mentors and mentoring supporters celebrated National Mentoring Month at the 8th annual Thank Your Mentor Breakfast. The breakfast was a special event celebrating the efforts of the more than 800 volunteer mentors in Chittenden County and featured remarks by Senator Patrick Leahy, spokesperson Michael Schirling, Burlington Chief of Police, and DREAM mentor Molly Mulcahy with her mentee Noah.
Leahy, a proud advocate for mentoring, was welcomed by a standing ovation. He praised the hard work of the mentors in attendance. “I wanted to tell you all that you make a real difference, whether you read books, shoot hoops, do homework, or just talk,” said Leahy. “I wanted to come here as one Vermonter and say thank you.”
Chief Schirling also thanked mentors in his remarks, reminding them to “never underestimate the power of an hour.” He highlighted the connection between mentoring and a healthy community, and noted that “regardless of your background or interests you can have a positive impact on the life of a young person.”
Local mentoring programs presented awards to 10 outstanding mentors, including South Burlington resident Sarah Thyng, a mentor through the King Street Center Junior-Senior Buddies program.
Thyng was recognized as an outstanding mentor by King Street Volunteer Coordinator, Gabriella Tufo-Struse and Thyng’s mentee Hibo. “Hibo was about eight when we started and I worked hard to make sure she was comfortable with me,” said Thyng. “We have both grown up a lot in the last five years and have gotten to know each other. I still want her to feel comfortable with me, but now I don’t have to work at it. I feel like we are old friends who can tell each other anything.”
The Thank Your Mentor Breakfast was a part of Mobius’ local celebration of National Mentoring Month 2012. Throughout the month of January, Mobius representatives and spokesperson Chief Schirling have been raising awareness of the local mentoring movement and recruiting new volunteers for the hundreds of local children who want and would benefit from having a mentor.
Mobius partners with mentoring programs in Chittenden County and is a local state affiliate of MENTOR. To learn more about how to become a mentor or support the local mentoring movement, call Marissa Wilkens at 658-1888 or visit www.mobiusmentors.org.