Ashleigh GibsonGoodGuides, Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma
|Ashleigh Gibson, a volunteer for Goodwill GoodGuides of Oklahoma City, receives an Outstanding Mentor Award from Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Chairman David L. Boren (left) and President Anil Gollahalli during Oklahoma Mentor Day at the Capitol. (Photo by Travis Caperton, Oklahoma State Capitol)|
Goodwill® GoodGuides is a national mentoring program for youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who are at risk for making harmful choices such as dropping out of school or joining a gang. The goal of the GoodGuides program is to help youth build career plans and skills, and prepare for school completion, post-secondary training and productive work.
Gibson, who is the development director for Rebuilding Together OKC, has been matched to her mentee, Corina, for the past six years. The mentor-mentee relationship first encountered some road bumps, but with determination and understanding the relationship has blossomed into close, lasting friendship.
“Ashleigh is a great mentor,” said Corina, 17, a student at Northwest Classen High School. “She takes time to understand where I am coming from. She teaches me many life lessons through guidance and understanding. I honestly would not be where I am today without her help. I expected to be pregnant and a high school dropout, but I am not – thanks to my mentor.
“Ashleigh will never give up on me, and I am grateful that she truly believes in me,” Corina added.
Program Manager Timothy Proctor said GoodGuides chose to honor Ashleigh, a former GoodGuides staff member, because she continues to be a mentor and loyal supporter of the program even though she doesn’t work there any longer. “She has impacted many students’ lives through many years of work, both in and out of the program,” he said.
Ashleigh chose GoodGuides as her platform when she was selected as Ms. Greater OKC 2015, Timothy said, and will promote the mentoring program in the Mrs. Oklahoma Pageant.