News and Events

OFE News Release


October 28, 2005
-- The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence announced Tuesday that it is kicking off a statewide mentoring initiative, named in honor of its founder and chairman David L. Boren and his wife, Molly.

OFE also announced that $100,000 has been pledged from the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation to launch a $750,000 endowment drive that will provide long-term support for the mentoring initiative. The announcement came during a luncheon in Norman for nearly 300 public school supporters and educators at OFE’s Fall Forum for Local Education Foundations.

“Two years ago, David Boren spoke at the Fall Forum and challenged public school foundation leaders across the state to ‘harness the goodness of Oklahoma’ by mobilizing volunteers in their communities to become mentors for children in need,” OFE President Teresa B. Adwan said in announcing the program. “We are grateful to the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation for its commitment to serving Oklahoma’s youth and for its leadership in supporting the David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative.”

Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence president-elect Ken Fergeson (left) of Altus, local education foundation outreach director Charlotte Jones of Norman and former president Bert Mackie of Enid wear their “Mentoring Matters” buttons, which were distributed Oct. 25 at the Fall Forum for Local Education Foundations. Jones will promote the mentoring initiative through her work with Oklahoma local education foundations.

Former OFE president Bert Mackie of Enid and president-elect Ken Fergeson of Altus will co-chair the endowment drive to fund the program.

The Boren Initiative will draw on the statewide resources of OFE to advocate school-based mentoring and provide information, resources and networking opportunities throughout Oklahoma.

“With 191 local education foundations, 192 trustees, 1,900 Academic All-State alumni and a network of caring educators, OFE is well positioned to promote mentoring in school districts throughout the state,” Adwan said.

OFE introduced its mentoring initiative at the Fall Forum by offering its first annual seminars on mentoring. The seminars featured presentations by Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Going to Bat for Tulsa Kids and by successful mentoring programs in Claremore, Clinton, Enid and Oklahoma City.

The Boren Mentoring Initiative will also promote mentoring as part of its outreach program to local foundations and school districts throughout the state. Other components include creating a comprehensive statewide database of mentoring programs and resources to be posted on the OFE web site, undertaking a statewide public relations campaign to promote the value of mentoring and expanding volunteer mentoring efforts among OFE trustees and Academic All-State alumni.

“Through our own Schusterman Mentor Program for Academic All-State alumni, we have seen the powerful impact that mentoring can have on academic success as well as on a child’s self-confidence,” said Emily Stratton, OFE executive director. “We see mentorship programs as critical to the success of public education in Oklahoma in the 21st century.”