Link ONE Mentoring Program, One True Light, Duncan
Melanie Wilkins, owner and operator of Wilkins Health and Rehabilitation Community, has been part of the success of Link ONE Mentoring in Duncan since the inception of efforts to organize and promote the program.
Wilkins served as chair of the advisory committee, which was charged with the initial design of the program. She led this group not only in deciding what the program would look like, but also in writing policies and procedures, as well as the development of a volunteer handbook.
When Link ONE was able to recruit and train 50 mentors in its first school year (2014-15), Wilkins kept its then staff of one afloat by routinely showing up at the office to assist with reference calls or building volunteer files.
“A busy business owner herself, Melanie's smile, calm demeanor and willingness to do whatever needed to be done were a key element in getting our program off the ground that first year,” said Administrative Director Carol Wanzor.
As a Link ONE mentor, Wilkins has impacted the life of a young lady who has since moved away from Duncan. Currently Wilkins mentors a young man in need of boundaries, academic support and reinforcement of positive behaviors, Wanzor said.
“To the mentoring relationship she brings her charm and outgoing personality, while at the same time setting high expectations for her student.” Wanzor said. “When Mel steps into a school environment, she brightens the day for anyone she comes into contact with. She goes above and beyond to serve not only Kayden, but to support Link ONE in any way possible and to improve outcomes for all the students in Duncan Public Schools. Melanie is a textbook example of one who looks beyond herself, her family, and her own needs to see what can be done to lift up those around her.”
Wilkins and her husband, Tony, have three sons and one granddaughter. She has been active in PTO and Booster Club leadership, has served on boards and in leadership positions with numerous organizations, and is also a sign language interpreter. She is an active leader in her church, participating in their music, mission and youth programs.
About the Program: Link ONE Mentoring is the cornerstone project of One True Light, a nonprofit connecting local churches and concerned citizens to meet the needs of Duncan Public Schools’ students. Link One mentors volunteer once a week, providing support and encouragement, lending a listening ear, and helping students form a positive vision for their future. They may provide academic support or simply help to boost the child's self-esteem by being a dependable positive adult role model.