News and Events

OFE News Release

Oklahoma Mentors Featured in Mentoring Month Television Spots

January 22, 2007

Clinton High School student Kenny Lee spends time with Tornado Buddies volunteer Richard Phillips
Clinton High School student Kenny Lee spends time with Tornado Buddies volunteer Richard Phillips.

OKLAHOMA CITY -- As part of its David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is showcasing volunteer mentors during National Mentoring Month by featuring mentor matches from around the state in a series of public service announcements.

Mentors and their mentees from BARTLESVILLE, CLINTON, BROKEN ARROW/STILLWATER and OKLAHOMA CITY are featured in the 30-second public service announcements, which are being broadcast on approximately 20 Oklahoma network and cable television stations. The television spots can be viewed online at by clicking on the National Mentoring Month link.

Diana Hockett of BARTLESVILLE serves as a mentor through the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Hockett has been a Big Sister to Chelse for 10 years. Now 17, Chelse credits her Hockett for changing her life. This year, Chelse became a Big Sister to help make a difference for another child. All three BB/BS participants are featured in the television spot.

Richard Phillips of CLINTON volunteers with the Clinton High School Red Tornado Buddies program. Phillips, along with other male volunteers from the Clinton area, spends time each week with a Clinton High football player to encourage personal and academic development.

Toby Rockefeller of BROKEN ARROW served as a mentor while in college at Oklahoma State University as part of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Academic All-State Alumni Mentoring Program. Rockefeller was assigned to Vincent, a third-grade student at Will Rogers Elementary School in STILLWATER, and continued to serve as his mentor for three years. Rockefeller is now a medical student at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, but maintains strong ties with Vincent.

Betty Martin, a resident of Grace Living Center in OKLAHOMA CITY, is a retired school teacher. Once a week, Martin “gets back into teaching mode” by reading to children through the Shared Graces program sponsored by the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation, Grace Living Centers and Bank of America. The program pairs senior adults at Grace with elementary students for a time of activity and learning each week.

National Mentoring Month, established in 2002, focuses national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities, and nonprofits can work together to increase the number of mentors and assure brighter futures for our young people. Governor Brad Henry has also proclaimed January as Mentoring Month in Oklahoma. First Lady Kim Henry is featured in a fifth public service announcement supporting the Boren Mentoring Initiative.

“It is our hope that, through these television spots, Oklahoma citizens will see that there are all kinds of mentoring opportunities available,” said Jennifer Geren, director of the Boren Mentoring Initiative. “National Mentoring Month is a great time to commit to being a mentor in 2007.”

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, a nonprofit organization founded in 1985 by then U.S. Sen. David L. Boren, recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools. In 2005, the foundation launched the Boren Mentoring Initiative to promote the growth and development of school-based mentoring statewide. The initiative grew out of Boren’s own commitment to mentoring and the proven impact that mentoring can have on a student’s success in and out of the classroom.

For more information, contact Jennifer Geren at (405) 410-1523 or visit the Boren Mentoring Initiative Web site at