Community Service: Y.E.S. Mentor
I was very fortunate that when I worked for the Reading Eagle newspaper, my department was extremely supportive of community service experiences. In addition to teaching classes through Junior Achievement, I also participated in the Y.E.S. Mentor program for four years.
Y.E.S. Mentor is similar in concept to Big Brothers Big Sisters, but this program only served children in the city of Reading, PA.
In 2000, I was matched up with a 10-year-old fourth grader named Joshua Appling. Josh and I shared a lot of quality time together until he turned 13. At 13 years of age, he started to feel that it was no longer "cool" to have a mentor. I understood where he was coming from and we backed off our weekly meetings.
This is an advertisement for the program that ran in the newspaper. Josh and I were one of a few pairings that they used for this advertisement series.
You can click the image to see a larger version of the image.
Below, you can see that Josh and I were also used to highlight an article on the mentoring program that appeared in the June 2004 issue.
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Next, there was an article in the newspaper about a reunion that I choreographed between Josh and the firefighter that saved his life as an infant. His family's home was completely destroyed in a fire and Zenith Ludwig, the fireman pictured, carried Josh out of the fire to safety.
Sadly, his brother that was in the room with him did not make it out alive. Before he perished, he was able to cover Josh with some blankets which probably saved his life.
You can click the image to see a larger version.
Establishing the reunion between Josh and Zenith, in addition to the time I spent with Josh as a mentor, led to me being awarded the 2002 Dr. Susan Weinberger Commitment to Mentoring Award. The photo (below the mentoring ad)) was taken right after I received the award.
Below is the newspaper story that appeared in the Reading Eagle that discusses the award. Below the news article is the mention of the award that appeared in Eagle Talk, the company newsletter for Reading Eagle company.
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This is another article that appeared in Eagle Talk about the mentoring program. Josh and I enjoyed another mention in this publication.