|Kendra Augustine (second from right), a volunteer for Bridges of Norman, receives an Outstanding Mentor Award from Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Chairman David L. Boren (left) and President Anil Gollahalli during Oklahoma Mentor Day at the Capitol. They are joined by Augustine’s mentee, Alania. (Photo by Travis Caperton, Oklahoma State Capitol)|
Bridges of NormanKendra Augustine has been selected as the outstanding mentor for Bridges, a Norman nonprofit agency that assists high school students who live alone due to family crises, such as the death of a parent, parental incarceration or homelessness.
Bridges offers 20 individual apartments with sliding-scale rent based on the student’s income, as well as mentoring, community resources, assistance with school activities and college scholarships.
“Kendra has been a mentor for Bridges for over a year now and goes out of her way to help all our students, not just the one she mentors,” said Kyle Moore, director of Career Coaching for Bridges. “Whenever I need something, I can contact Kendra, and she will come through every time.”
Kyle said Kendra does a large portion of the agency’s student driving and arranges to cook dinner for the students as an incentive for them to attend weekly life skills classes. Kendra, who is membership coordinator for the Cleveland County YMCA, has recruited her own co-workers to be involved in the agency and encouraged them to be mentors as well.
Kendra’s mentee recently graduated from high school and plans to attend the University of Oklahoma.
“A great pleasure of mine was walking into the student’s apartment and finding a picture of her and Kendra in a little frame on a table in her apartment,” Kyle said. “They were more connected than any other student/mentor combo, and Kendra has done so much to assist her.”
Kyle said Kendra is the kind of mentor he can match with any student, and she will do whatever she can to help them. “She makes my job as a social worker so much easier, and I could not thank her enough for the dedication she has to her student and all the Bridges students,” he said.