Kay and Kevin Bjornen

Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
Oklahoma Mentor Day

Kay and Kevin Bjornen

Lowe Family Young Scholars Program, Bartlesville

Kay and Kevin Bjornen of Stillwater have been matched for six years with Fernando, a student at Bartlesville High School. Kay is a research data initiatives librarian at the OSU library, and Kevin is retired from ConocoPhillips, where he was employed as an engineer. They were matched through the Lowe Family Young Scholars Program, which strives to assist academically promising, economically disadvantaged students in the Bartlesville Public System to earn a college degree.

Karen Lowe-Alton, Lowe Family Young Scholars Program executive director, says that the Bjornens participate in the program’s quarterly meetings and volunteer their knowledge and skills not only with their mentee, but with other students in the program.

The couple (and family, as well) enjoy spending time with Fernando in a variety of ways, including outdoors activities such as hiking and fishing, as well as academic studies.

“This match has been a good one from day one,” Alton says. “The uniqueness of a couple’s match was great for Fernando, as Kay has been able to tutor Fernando in chemistry. With the Bjornen’s love of the outdoors matched with Fernando’s drive to obtain his Eagle Scout badge, they make a great team to assist him in his endeavors for Eagle Scout and other scouting badges.”

She adds, “The intellectual match for this mentor-mentee duo has been extraordinary. Fernando plans on becoming an engineer, and it is amazing that he was matched with an engineer in Kevin Bjornen. Fernando needed help in chemistry, and he was matched with a mentor in Kay who could tutor him in chemistry! They all love the outdoors. This has been an excellent match for all.”

About the Program: The Lowe Family Young Scholars Program provides academic-focused, community-based mentoring to students in grades 6 through 12.