|Boeing Electrical Engineer Mercedius Jones (second from right), a volunteer for Whiz Kids tutoring and mentoring program 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. They are joined by Jones’ mentee of three years, Joshua. (Photo by Travis Caperton, Oklahoma State Capitol)|
Whiz Kids OklahomaWhiz Kids Oklahoma has named Mercedius Jones, an electrical engineer for Boeing, as its outstanding mentor for Oklahoma Mentor Day 2016.
Whiz Kids is a faith-based, one-on-one volunteer tutoring/mentoring program that focuses on first through sixth grade students who live in areas which have some of the highest drop-out rates and lowest socioeconomic levels in Oklahoma City. Whiz Kids is proactive and preventative in nature, targeting inner-city schools and students who are reading below grade level and who could benefit most from a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult.
“Mercedius is a hard working young man who has taken an interest in mentoring at a very young age,” said Sarah Skinner, communication manager for Whiz Kids. “He has been a tutor and mentor to his mentee Joshua for the last three years at the Whiz Kids Oklahoma Prospect Baptist site.
As an electrical engineer for Boeing, Mercedius draws and sketches airplanes, which is fitting since Joshua loves airplanes and comic drawings, too. A favorite activity of the dynamic duo is when Mercedius sketches airplanes and Joshua colors and tries to recreate the airplanes. Mercedius has purchased comic books and airplane books for the two to read during Whiz Kids’ time. Joshua wants to be an electrical engineer, just like Mercedius, when he grows up, Skinner said.
“Mercedius inspires and motivates Joshua to be all that he can be and pushes him to do better than average,” she said. “He is an encourager and recruiter to get others from his workplace to be mentors and tutors, as well. He has recruited more than 10 Boeing employees to take the time to give back through tutoring and mentoring with Whiz Kids.”