Mentoring Matters – Part 2 of 2: Craig’s Story

Part two of a two part mentoring story – click here to read Markell’s story.

When Craig attended United Way’s Breakfast with Community Leaders hosted by African American Leadership in 2017, he was inspired to action.

“When I learned about the group’s mentoring initiative and all it was accomplishing, I knew I had to be part of it,” said Craig.

United Way’s African American Mentoring Initiative (AAMI) is focused on improving the emotional and social well-being of African-American and other boys at Wiley Elementary, Jackson Middle and Smith High Schools.

Last year, Craig was paired with Markell, a second grader at Wiley Elementary. According to both of them, the past 12 months have been more than what they could have imagined.

“I can’t say enough about Markell. He is eager, bright, and engaging,” said Craig.

Craig visits Markell in the classroom on a weekly basis and sometimes they even get together to have fun and educational experiences outside of the classroom.

Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic and professional situations.

According to the National Mentoring Partnership, many mentors say that the rewards they gain are as substantial as those for their mentees, and that mentoring has enabled them to:

  • Have fun
  • Achieve personal growth and learn more about themselves
  • Improve their self-esteem and feel they are making a difference
  • Gain a better understanding of other cultures and develop a greater appreciation for diversity
  • Feel more productive and have a better attitude at work
  • Enhance their relationships with their own children

As a professor who teaches adult students who are seeking to become school administrators, Craig says, “I learn a lot from Markell. The experience of mentoring him helps inform and improve my professional practice of preparing principals,” said Craig.

Markell and Craig are one example of the how mentoring truly matters. Right now, there are children in our community waiting for someone like you to listen, guide and share your life experience with them. Click here to learn more about how to become a mentor.

City of Greensboro and United Way Seek to Engage Volunteers During National Mentoring Month

Greensboro, NC (December 27, 2018) – January is National Mentoring Month. Continuing the tradition, the City of Greensboro and United Way of Greater Greensboro are celebrating the mentoring movement and expanding quality mentoring opportunities.

Throughout the month, United Way and the City are encouraging members of the community to make a difference by becoming a mentor.

United Way manages a registry of almost 30 mentoring programs that might have the perfect fit for you. One program is United Way’s African-American Male Initiative that provides mentors for our African-American, Hispanic and other male students. Mentoring starts in grades 2nd – 5th at Wiley Elementary, 6th – 8th at Jackson Middle and 9th grade at Smith High School.

Mentoring is a critical part of developing life changing relationships – mentoring is proven to have a positive effect on academic, social, and economic outcomes for our young people,” said Mayor Nancy Vaughan.

“Too many young people right here in Greensboro lack sufficient support to succeed in school and in life,” says Michelle Gethers-Clark, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Greensboro. “Each of us has the power to truly impact the future for our youth by simply being a caring adult in their life as a friend and mentor.”

Research shows mentors can play a powerful role in providing youngsters with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and excel in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like gang activity or drug use.

In turn, young people who are mentored:

  • 55% more likely to be enrolled in college
  • 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities
  • 130% more likely to hold leadership positions

Yet, the same research shows that 1 in 3 young people in our country will grow up without a mentor. National Mentoring Month each January allows for unique engagement from community members interested in becoming a mentor. This year, with the support of the mentoring community, we are encouraging the public to go beyond just digital engagement – and become involved in making a real life impact.

Mentoring relationships are at their best when connections are made between a caring adult and a young person who knows that someone is there to help guide them through real life decisions. Pledge to be a mentor today, by contacting the United Way of Greater Greensboro.

Other important dates for National Mentoring Month include:

January 4, 2019: “I Am a Mentor Day”
A day for volunteer mentors to celebrate their role and reflect on the ways mentees have enhanced their world and share their stories about being a mentor on social media using #MentorIRL, #MentoringMonth and #MentorGSO

January 17, 2019: International Mentoring Day
A day of international conversations on social media where photos, video and messages to share powerful mentoring stories.

January 21, 2019: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
A day to share in the inspirational words of MLK, Jr., and elevate the spirit of service through volunteerism. Join GSO mentors and mentees at the Day of Service at Four Seasons Town Centre brought to you by The Volunteer Center of Greensboro. Visit https://www.unitedwaygso.org/event/martin-luther-king-jr-day-of-service/ or click here for more information.

January 31, 2019: “Thank Your Mentor Day”
This day concludes the #ThankYourMentorcampaign! Check out United Way’s social media for local thank yous including the hashtags #MentorIRL, #MentoringMonth and #MentorGSO.

To learn more about the role mentoring plays in our community and to find volunteer opportunities, please visit www.unitedwaygso.org/mentoring-matters or contact Traci McLemore at traci.mclemore@unitedwaygso.org.

About National Mentoring Month
National Mentoring Month is led by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with support from the Highland Street Foundation. Each year since its launch in 2002, National Mentoring Month has enjoyed the strong support of the President and the United States Congress.

Other prominent individuals who have participated in the campaign include: Maya Angelou, former President Bill Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Quincy Jones, Cal Ripken Jr., Bill Russell and Usher.

Mentoring Matters – Part 1 of 2: Markell’s Story

Part one of a two part mentoring story – stay tuned next month to read Craig’s Story

On certain days, Markell has an added spring in his step when he walks to elementary school. Markell says he’s usually excited to see friends and learn from his teachers, but he really gets excited on the days his mentor comes to visit.

“I always get excited when I know I’m going to see Mr. Craig!” said Markell.

As a second grader, Markell was paired with Craig through United Way’s African American Mentoring Initiative (AAMI). Craig decided to become a mentor after attending and being challenged to help at United Way’s Breakfast with Community Leaders last year.

According to Markell and Craig, the past 12 months have been life changing.

Markell says he enjoys beating Craig at Jenga and chatting about life during their weekly lunch. Their mentorship extends outside of the classroom, too. This summer, Markell and Craig were able to visit the Greensboro History Museum and the Greensboro Science Center. Markell’s favorite part of that experience? “Definitely seeing the howler monkeys,” he said.

Markell’s favorite thing about having a mentor is having someone that he trusts and can to talk to. When asked, Markell said, “I can tell Craig things I haven’t told anyone before.”

Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic and professional situations. Mentors like Craig help keep students in school, improve self-esteem, and set career goals and take steps to realize them. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset.

According to The National Mentoring Partnership, young adults who were at-risk for falling off track but had a mentor are:

  • 55% more likely to enroll in college
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly
  • 90% are interested in becoming a mentor
  • 130% more likely to hold leadership positions.

Markell and Craig are one example of the how mentoring truly matters. Right now, there are children in our community waiting for someone like you to listen, guide and share your life experience with them. Click here to learn more about how to become a mentor.

United Way of Greater Greensboro Draws 3rd Car Giveaway Semi-Finalist

Greensboro, NC (December 13, 2018) – Giving has its perks! Esther Ngo of Youth Focus’ Act Together Crisis Care was randomly selected to be the third of six semi-finalists who will have a chance to win a 2019 Toyota Camry.

In case you haven’t heard, anyone who makes a gift during the 2018 annual campaign of $100+ that supports our work to end poverty (and provides a personal email) qualifies for the giveaway.

All six semi-finalists will gather at Rice Toyota in March 2019 and one lucky winner will drive away with a brand new car.

For all of the rules and regulations, visit www.unitedwaygso.org/car.

United Way’s 11th Annual Breakfast with Community Leaders Hosted by African American Leadership

Greensboro, NC (December 1, 2018) – On Tuesday, December 4, 7-9:00 a.m. at New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, over 200 people are expected to attend United Way of Greater Greensboro’s 11th Annual Breakfast with Community Leaders hosted by African American Leadership.

The event will focus on United Way’s positive progress towards ending poverty and will feature “Faces of Success” and updates about our two Family Success Center locations. Attendees are encouraged to bring new, or gently used, coats, socks, gloves and warm hats that will be donated to local children and youth. Admission is free and breakfast is included.

Breakfast buffet available and doors open at 7am. Program begins at 7:45am. RSVP here.

United Way of Greater Greensboro Draws 2nd Car Giveaway Semi-Finalist

Car finalist Erika Hicks Henderson of Cone Health, pictured center in green and white.

Greensboro, NC (November 8, 2018) – Giving has its perks! Erika Hicks Henderson of Cone Health was randomly selected to be the second of six semi-finalists who will have a chance to win a 2019 Toyota Camry.

In case you haven’t heard, anyone who makes a gift during the 2018 annual campaign of $100+ that supports our work to end poverty (and provides a personal email) qualifies for the giveaway.

All six semi-finalists will gather at Rice Toyota in March 2019 and one lucky winner will drive away with a brand new car.

For all of the rules and regulations, visit www.unitedwaygso.org/car.

United Way of Greater Greensboro Draws 1st Car Giveaway Semi-Finalist

Greensboro, NC (October 30, 2018) – Giving has its perks! Mary Dunning of American National Bank and Trust Company was randomly selected to be the first of six semi-finalists who will have a chance to win a 2019 Toyota Camry.

In case you haven’t heard, anyone who makes a gift during the 2018 annual campaign of $100+ that supports our work to end poverty (and provides a personal email) qualifies for the giveaway.

All six semi-finalists will gather at Rice Toyota in March 2019 and one lucky winner will drive away with a brand new car.

For all of the details, visit the rules and regulations page of our website.

Stay tuned for future announcements!

United Way of Greater Greensboro Trunk-or-Treat on Sunday Expects Thousands, Now Sunday October, 28

Greensboro, NC (October 25, 2018) – A police car, a fire truck and a race car—oh my! With rain expected early this weekend, United Way rescheduled its annual Trunk or Treat hosted by Young Leaders to Sunday, October 28, 2 – 4 p.m. in the parking lot of United Way, 1500 Yanceyville Street. Over 2,000 attendees are expected to attend.

Trunk-or-Treat Fall Festival is a fun, safe and festive event that is free and open to the public. Young Leaders and other community volunteers are creatively decorating the trunks of their vehicles and filling them with candy and healthy treats for children and families to enjoy.

The first 1,000 attendees will receive a voucher for a free kid’s meal at Texas Road House.

Thanks to sponsorship from Cone Health, Leeper, Kean & Rumley, L.L.P., Lincoln Financial and Northwood Animal Hospital, Young Leaders purchased almost 500 pounds of candy to pass out. Local businesses also hosted candy drives, bringing the total to over 22,000 pieces of candy that trunk hosts will pass out to attendees.

In addition to candy, there will be thousands of toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste and healthy snacks distributed.

14-year-old Luke Akers, 2-time national racing champion, will be in attendance with his race car along with representatives from the Greensboro Police Department and Greensboro Fire Department.

Historically, parents who bring their children to Trunk-or-Treat say they prefer the event over traditional trick-or-treating because it’s during the day, making it safer for their children.

This year’s event will feature face painting, fall and Halloween themed games with fall prizes disbursed, music by Best Night Ever DJ and Events and a free book station to promote literacy. The event was originally scheduled for Saturday, October 27.

United Way of Greater Greensboro Young Leaders Host Trunk-or-Treat October 27

Greensboro, NC (October 4th, 2018) – Two thousand children and adults are expected to attend United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Trunk-or-Treat hosted by Young Leaders, October 27, 2 – 4 p.m. in the parking lot of United Way, 1500 Yanceyville Street.

Trunk-or-Treat Fall Festival is a fun, safe and festive event that is free and open to the public. Young Leaders and other community volunteers are creatively decorating the trunks of their vehicles and filling them with candy and healthy treats for children and families to enjoy.

Historically, parents who bring their children to Trunk-or-Treat say they prefer the event over traditional trick-or-treating because it’s during the day, making it safer for their children.

This year’s event will feature face painting, fall and Halloween themed games, the police and fire departments, and a free book station to promote literacy.

Young Leaders are an affinity group of United Way of Greater Greensboro.

 

United Way of Greater Greensboro Opening its Second Family Success Center with Lead Partner, The Salvation Army

Greensboro, NC (August 20, 2018) – United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) is pleased to announce it is expanding its Integrated Service Delivery approach to ending local poverty by partnering with The Salvation Army of Greensboro to open a second Family Success Center (FSC).

The second FSC will operate at The Salvation Army Center of Hope at 1311 South Eugene Street and is expected to open before the end of the year.

The FSC model addresses the needs of families living on low incomes by offering services that are bundled and tailored to meet the unique needs of individuals and families in one accessible location. Services focus on employment, education, financial capability, health and wellness and basic needs and are provided through collaboration.

The Salvation Army was selected as the lead partner through a competitive application process led entirely by a Volunteer Review Committee.

The Volunteer Review committee selected Salvation Army based on:

  • Capacity to implement the FSC model
  • Expertise and experience in addressing poverty
  • Ability to serve whole families
  • Long-term case management
  • Outcomes measurement
  • Quality of planning
  • Community partnerships
  • Removal of participation barriers

Additional FSC at Center of Hope Highlights:

  • Members will have access to high-quality after-school and summer childcare at The Salvation Army’s Boys and Girls Club at 1001 Freeman Mill Road. Transportation between the two locations will be provided.
  • Infant and toddler care will be provided on-site at the Center of Hope
  • The second FSC will feature expanded hours (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Members will have access to on-site professional mental health services

“Taking on the huge task of generational poverty is something we can’t do alone. It’s not about what the Salvation Army will be doing – it’s about what we will be doing together as a community. We look forward to working with our partners to meet human needs without discrimination so that families can be successful,” says Captain Matt Hedgren, Corps Officer, The Salvation Army of Greensboro.

“We are elated to expand our integrated service delivery strategy by opening a second Family Success Center in our community. This service delivery approach has proven to be very successful and has established Greensboro as a city dedicated to innovative solutions to ending poverty,” says Frank McCain, Vice President Community Investment and Impact, UWGG.

UWGG’s FSC model has proven to be effective and has been recognized locally and internationally as a best practice for empowering families to become self-sufficient.

United Way’s first FSC was established in 2015 with lead partner, Guilford Child Development, and will continue to be supported by over 30 community-based partners. To-date, the first FSC has helped over 200 families, representing almost 600 adults and children on their journeys toward self-sufficiency.

Since launching, FSC members have achieved significant milestones:

  • 278 adults completed job readiness classes
  • 98 achieved employment
  • 31 earned a GED (41 currently working to earn a GED)
  • 14 enrolled in college
  • 111 completed financial capability classes
  • 173 opened new child savings accounts