Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Glenpool Mentor Match Story

Liz White, founder and
executive director of the
Glenpool Mentor Match

There have been two big inspirations for Glenpool Mentor Match.  The first source of inspiration for this program comes from a mentoring relationship that started many years ago.   When my husband was in elementary school, he had a big brother through the program big brothers/big sisters.  He was matched with a young college student by the name of Dow Hughes.  They met routinely over the course of a year, but the relationship did not stop there.  Dow stayed in touch.  Through the years, the two have done business together.  Our families have watched University of Oklahoma football together. The Hughes were the first to introduce my son to the Boy Scout Motto.  Dow is the reason I became a trustee for the foundation.  But more importantly, Dow has been available to offer advice in challenging times.   Scott and Dow are a great example of how powerful mentoring can be.  And this connection was the first spark of inspiration for our mentoring program.

The second source of inspiration for Glenpool Mentor Match came from my experience attending the Fall Forum on Mentoring.  After listening to educators speak about their school based mentoring programs, I left completely inspired to start a mentoring program in our local school district.  I also left with the information I needed to get it started from scratch.  With Beverly Woodrome’s help from the Boren Mentoring Initiative, we were able to launch a program under the umbrella of our local school foundation.

Part of her presentation focusing upon Oklahoma Mentor Day at the State Capitol, 2015.
Jerry Olansen was honored as Glenpool Mentor Match's Mentor of the Year.

Today we are now starting our third year in the program. The Glenpool Schools superintendent, Jerry Olansen, (in the picture here) is so committed to the success of the program that he encouraged nine other male administrators in the district to be mentors as well.  Over the past two years, we’ve seen one gifted young lady spend less time in school suspension and more time in her new found creative outlet, writing. In fact, last spring she won first place in a national writing contest and a trip to Washington, DC. Another young student unfortunately lost his mother to cancer.  He was matched with a male administrator who lost his son to brain cancer.  A relative of the mentor recently told me that the program has provided a unique sense of emotional support for both.

These positive stories and many more, can be linked back to the work of The Boren Mentoring Initiative and the decision for a young college student to become a mentor.  For that, I would like to thank you Dow for your gifts of time to our family and Beverly Woodrome and the Boren Mentoring Initiative for the wealth of resources they provide for mentoring programs.

Elizabeth "Liz" Frazier White 
Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Trustee Meeting
Oklahoma History Center

We asked Liz White, the founder and executive director of Glenpool Mentor Match, an elementary mentoring program, to speak only five minutes to our Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence trustees at the Annual Meeting. Each of our foundation's five statewide programs had only one representative to convey the impact of program. Liz spoke on behalf of mentoring.

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