Tuesday, August 25, 2015

College Mentors Help Students

We thank Joy Hampton, writer for the Moore American and the Norman Transcript, for focusing upon two of our mentoring program's collegiate mentors.

Mentors help students shoot for the stars

Posted: Monday, August 24, 2015 7:00 am

Timothy and Ashten Duncan, mentor
Ashten Duncan knows the value of learning and play. While serving as a mentor to Timothy, a third grader, at McKinley Elementary School in Norman, Duncan alternated fun activities like drawing or time on the playground with educational activities like reading. 
Duncan is a volunteer through the Boren Mentoring Initiative program, which connects college students with kids who would benefit from some extra attention. Each mentor spends at least an hour a week volunteering one-to-one with an assigned elementary school student to their mutual benefit.
“The entire mentoring experience made me more appreciative for what I have and am able to do,” Duncan said, “I learned that quite a few children in our community are much more limited than I ever was due to financial barriers.”
As a Boren Mentoring Initiative mentor, Meghan Bradley of Norman had the opportunity to mentor Jasmine, a second grader at McKinley.
“Jasmine is excited to have a mentor, and I’m happy to be her mentor,” Bradley said. 
Bradley wrote “A Parents Guide to Raising a Successful Reader,” when she was a Norman High School senior as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award Project to promote early childhood literacy. The Boren Mentoring Initiative posted the booklet online as a resource for its mentoring network. Meghan is the daughter of Lisa Bradley of Norman.
“Growing up in Moore shaped my perspective on the needs of our community and truly served as an impetus for much of what I do now at OU and for what I aspire to do in the future,” Duncan said.
According to McKinley staff, Duncan kept Timothy thoroughly engaged and often laughing. Duncan was an Academic All-State Alumni Mentor who provided academic support and encouragement to Timothy. 
“Being able to bring some joy to my mentee when he had such tough days at school gave me a wonderful sense of fulfillment,” Duncan said.
Meghan Bradley and Jasmine, her mentee

Duncan graduated from Moore High School in 2012. An Academic All-Stater, he is majoring in microbiology at the University of Oklahoma. He is involved Alpha Phi Omega and the Oklahoma Blood Institute, and he worked as a physician’s assistant medical scribe and training scribe. 
“Throughout my childhood, I observed on many occasions how the lack of a positive role model adversely affected my peers,” Duncan said. “It was troubling to know that some of my friends were falling into the hands of an atrocious fate because of their lack of a driving force.”
The son of Jeffrey and Misty Duncan of Moore, Duncan is also an Olympia Prep ACT Tutor among many other activities.
“I consider myself to have been blessed due to having a number of influential individuals during my time living in Moore, including particular teachers who will always be near and dear to me,” he said. “In college, the idea of serving as a positive role model has manifested itself in my life in the form of mentoring.”
A sophomore at OU, Bradley is studying public relations with an environmental sustainability minor. She is active in Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and the Public Relations Student Society of America. She is also a daycare worker at McFarland United Methodist Church. This summer Bradley worked, took classes at the university and interned with Brenda Wheelock, public relations director of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. 
“Jasmine has a lot of potential, and I have really enjoyed working with her,” Bradley said. “Jasmine always has a positive attitude about our meetings and is open to talking and interacting with me.”
During the summer, Duncan had an internship in Tulsa through OU’s School of Community Medicine and began applying for medical schools. 
 “For my mentee, the experience made him more enthusiastic about pursuing higher aspirations and having more confidence in himself,” Duncan said. “I have watched as he has become more comfortable with himself as a person over the course of mentoring.”
“Quality mentoring programs can improve a mentee’s behavior, academics and self-confidence,” said Beverly Woodrome, Boren Mentoring Initiative director. “Through their involvement in such a program, Academic All-State alumni and their friends have the opportunity to make a significant contribution to Oklahoma education.”
The All-State Alumni Mentor Program is administered by the David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative, a program of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools.
“Mentoring has been nothing short of a pleasure for me,” Duncan said. “I love every minute I spend having the opportunity—no, the honor—to impact the life of a boy in need of camaraderie and motivation. 
For Jasmine’s end-of-the year mentee certificate, Bradley chose one of her favorite quotes, “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” 

Ret. 8-25-15

Friday, August 7, 2015

Coaches' Mentoring Challenge 2015

Published in Oklahoma's premier business publication...

Coaches team up for youth mentoring

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, left, and Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, right, talk before an NCAA college football game in Norman.  (AP photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, left, and Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, right, talk before an NCAA college football game in Norman. (AP photo/Sue Ogrocki)

OKLAHOMA CITY (JR) – Head football coaches Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State University and Bob Stoops of the University of Oklahoma are teaming up with the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence through its Boren Mentoring Initiative for the Oklahoma Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge, a statewide campaign to recruit mentors for young people.
The Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge started in 2008 as a friendly competition between coaches Tom Osborne of the University of Nebraska and Bill Snyder at Kansas State University. Since then, many current and retired coaches from Big 12 and Big Ten teams have joined the challenge.
Last year, Oklahoma joined the challenge for the first time, recruiting 3,340 mentors, which represented 32.4 percent of the 10,285 recruited among six participating states. This year, 11 participating states have set a goal of recruiting 15,000 mentors through the Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge.
“Anytime you’re able to help young people in developing their goals, their habits – anything you can do to assist young people in finding their way and reaching their full potential – you need to extend a hand and do your best to help,” Stoops said.
Gundy said mentoring has been an important part of his coaching career, and he encourages Oklahomans to help youths in their communities.
“The most enjoyable part of being a coach is the opportunity to see a young man come in at 18 years old and leave our institution with a degree and an opportunity to play championship football and to develop in so many ways – to be on time, to be respectful, to help others and to really contribute to society,” Gundy said. “I think one of the greatest gifts we can all give is to pass on the lessons of mentorship – being kind, treating people fairly, the ability to learn from failure and get back up and keep moving forward.”
Stoops and Gundy are teaming up with the Boren Mentoring Initiative and its statewide network of mentoring organizations to recruit and place mentors. The Boren Mentoring Initiative has launched a website at www.okcoacheschallenge.org where prospective volunteers can find local mentoring opportunities.
Oklahoma high school and college coaches are also being encouraged to endorse and support the campaign by signing up at the website. It includes promotional materials and ideas for promoting the campaign on campuses and communities across the state.
In a recent survey of Oklahoma mentoring organizations, the Boren Mentoring Initiative found that the greatest challenge facing mentoring organizations was a shortage of volunteer mentors, said Beverly Woodrome, director of the Boren Mentoring Initiative.
The Boren Mentoring Initiative, named for Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence founder and chairman David L. Boren and his wife, Molly, was started in 2006 to promote youth mentoring programs statewide.
The initiative has created a directory of more than 150 mentoring partner organizations statewide and works with the organizations to offer resources and promote mentoring best practices. Mentoring programs can join the network for free.

http://journalrecord.com/files/2015/08/np-coaches-mentoring-8-6-15.jpg    Ret. 8-7-15