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.


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