Carly Costley

Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
Oklahoma Mentor Day


Carly Costley (center), a volunteer for True Blue Neighbors Mentoring Program at the University of Tulsa, receives an Outstanding Mentor Award from Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence President Craig Story (right) and foundation trustee and mentoring advocate Molly Boren during Oklahoma Mentor Day. Joining in the presentation are Mentor Day keynote speaker and author Alton Carter (left) and mentees Valeria Munoz (second from left) and Lilian Perez. Oklahoma Mentor Day, sponsored by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and its David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative, honors outstanding Oklahoma youth mentors and promotes the value of mentoring. (Photo by Travis Caperton)

Carly Costley

True Blue Neighbors Youth Mentoring
University of Tulsa

The University of Tulsa’s True Blue Neighbors Youth Mentoring program has selected Carly Costley, a senior accounting major from Bixby, as its outstanding mentor for Oklahoma Mentor Day.

True Blue Neighbors Youth Mentoring Program aspires to help build a better community through quality afterschool programming at Kendall-Whittier Elementary School. As a 21st Century Community Learning Center, the program provides equitable educational resources for youth. Program objectives include enhancing literacy achievement, access to healthy nutrition and community gardening and developing positive social skills to build better citizens.

Carly is mentoring Valeria and Lilian, both seven years old. Carly assists her mentees with their homework as well as other classroom activities.

“The students see her as a stable and guiding support,” said Program Director Olivia Landrum.

“I love being silly with my mentees,” Carly said. “They are such fun and charming kids, and I feel that maintaining a certain amount of playfulness with them allows me to have a good relationship with them.”

One of Carly’s favorite memories with her mentees was when they spent Halloween together one year. Carly took them to the TU campus and trick-or-treated at the sorority houses. One of their favorite activities was participating in the spider races, where they blew air through a straw to push a plastic spider across the finish line.

“With her encouragement the students feel that they can accomplish anything asked of them,” added Landrum. “Everything the children have learned from her has helped us to create a calm, successful environment in our afterschool program.”