Judy TracyBuilding Esteem and Responsibility (B.E.A.R.), Cheyenne Public Schools
Cheyenne community volunteer Judy Tracy and her husband, Dale, were among the first to sign up as mentors when the Cheyenne B.E.A.R Mentoring Program began three years ago. Since then she has been an outstanding and faithful mentor to her mentee, Kaydee, 13. In addition to working on sewing and photography projects during mentoring time, Tracy attends many of Kaydee's activities to cheer her on.
“She has been a stabilizing influence in the often-turbulent life of the now seventh grader as well as a great role model,” wrote Elementary Principal Belinda Chalfant.
Their relationship started after Kaydee's brother (already a mentee) marched into the principal's office and announced, "My sister needs a mentor." Since then Tracy has gone well beyond the usual commitment as a mentor by helping Kaydee and her family navigate some bureaucratic hurdles. When a trip early in their relationship meant Judy missed a mentoring session, the postcard she sent became one of Kaydee's prized possessions.
Even before the B.E.A.R. program started, Tracy was an informal mentor in many ways. Starting as she and Dale raised their three sons, she has actively supported Cheyenne Schools, especially by photographing almost every school event. For many years she was the local 4H leader. As a founding and current board member of the Cheyenne Educational Foundation, she helped establish grade-based scholarships given to all Cheyenne graduates. Judy for years has actively participated in the Cheyenne Baptist Church midweek program for young people. She maintains a website for county genealogy research, serves on the Roger Mills Historic Preservation Board and actively participates in almost every activity that enriches the lives of Cheyenne residents.
"In her quiet way she has touched and impacted multiple generations through her actions and by her example,” Chalfant added.
About the program: B.E.A.R., Building Esteem And Responsibility, is a school-based mentoring program created in 2014 by Cheyenne Public Schools to match community volunteers with students in need.