Vanessa Lemons

Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
Oklahoma Mentor Day


Vanessa Lemons (third from left), a volunteer with Y Achievers of YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, receives an Outstanding Mentor Award from Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence President Craig Story (right) and foundation trustee and mentoring advocate Molly Boren (second from right) during Oklahoma Mentor Day. Joining in the presentation are Mentor Day keynote speaker and author Alton Carter (left) and mentees Kennedi (second from left) and Aundrea, students at John Marshall High School. 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)

Vanessa Lemons

Y Achievers
YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City

Y Achievers, a program of the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, has named Vanessa Lemons as its outstanding mentor of the year.

Y Achievers is a college readiness and career exploration program designed to help underserved, first generation college-bound and minority teens to achieve higher education.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Vanessa Lemons for the last six years while she has served as a volunteer mentor for the Y Achievers program,” said Shannon Presti, teen leadership initiatives coordinator.

“Vanessa is an incredible business woman and the utmost professional, but she also has an infectious, fun, positive energy about her.”

Vanessa, a senior partnership account executive at the OKC Energy FC, learned about the program through her colleagues while working for the Oklahoma City Thunder. She knew the importance of having strong role models, which influenced her to immediately become involved.

Once a month, Vanessa mentors a small group of freshman girls at John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City to encourage them to successfully complete high school and to pursue a college degree.

“During every visit, Vanessa builds stronger relationships with her small group of girls,” Presti said.

“She knows their backgrounds, their goals, their fears, their hobbies and truly thinks about all of the traits as she is prepping for each mentoring session. She goes above and beyond what any mentor is expected to do because she cares so deeply for her students and their successes.”