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.


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