Charlie Chockley (left), a volunteer for Beaver Duster Mentors, receives his Outstanding Mentor Award from his mentee, Hayden, while fellow mentors Gloria Martinez (second from right) and JoAnn Herchock applaud. Chockley was unable to receive his certificate during Oklahoma Mentor Day at the Capitol, so Hayden accepted on his behalf and delivered it to him personally. Chockley was honored for his dedication and for providing a positive male influence to Hayden since 2014.
Beaver Duster Mentors has selected Charlie Chockley, an oil field pumper and owner of Chockley Pumping Inc., as its outstanding mentor for Oklahoma Mentor Day.
Founded by Linda Downing, an Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence trustee from Beaver, the Duster mentoring program matches community volunteers and high school peer mentors with elementary students in need. Together, they enjoy board games, sports, crafts and a variety of other activities.
Linda said she had been seeking out people in the community who would be good potential mentors and asked Charlie, an acquaintance from church, because he was so warm and friendly to people. She wanted to match him with a young boy, Hayden, who was being raised by his great-grandmother and needed a positive male influence in his life.
“When I first asked Charlie if he would consider mentoring he didn’t think he was cut out for the job,” she said. “I had one or two other guys who had told me the same thing and then finally decided to give it a whirl, and their mentees love them.”
Linda invited Charlie to sit in on a mentoring session, and that was all it took. He was matched to Hayden in 2014. “They are the cutest thing together you can possibly imagine,” Linda said, noting that Hayden helps Charlie do “man things” like putting up Christmas lights.
At the end of last school year, Hayden told his teacher he was really sad because he feared he wouldn’t see Charlie during the summer break. “Charlie really loves me – he really does,” the boy told his teacher.
Charlie continued to see Hayden over the summer and has been constant source of love and encouragement for the boy, Linda said. “He is the rock that Hayden needs. He needs a man in his life, and Charlie is it. Charlie has a twinkle in his eye that makes Hayden jump for joy when he sees him.“This is my reason for choosing Charlie Chockley as our Mentor of the Year,” Linda added. “And he is an inspiration to other men to give mentoring a try.”