The Education and Employment Ministry, Oklahoma City
The Education and Employment Ministry (TEEM), a nonprofit that helps clients break cycles of incarceration and poverty, is honoring Luquetta McClarty of Midwest City for helping bring hope, friendship and creativity to her mentee.
“We chose Luquetta to be recognized because she embodies what our mentor program is about,” said TEEM Mentoring Coordinator Emma Morris. “She encourages her mentee through everything and is able to be a friend and mentor simultaneously.”
McClarty, a licensed professional counselor and clinical director for Full Circle Youth and Family Services, said she volunteers to mentor at TEEM to help women walk through their journey and help them heal from brokenness, trauma, abuse or feelings of rejection.
“I love being a support system when my mentee needs someone to talk to,” McClarty said. “I love encouraging her and helping her to see that when you are dealt a bad hand in life it doesn’t always have to be that way. You can change your circumstances.”
McClarty and her mentee both share a love for art and poetry. McClarty is the co-author of an anthology called “Fabulous New Life,” and her mentee writes poetry and is a talented artist. Their love for art and poetry brings them together. They both believe there is a story behind every piece of art.
They also share a desire to see changes in women’s incarceration in Oklahoma and would like to see more programs to help women recover from substance abuse rather than being sent to prison and separated from their children.
McClarty’s mentee said that she had been feeling hopeless and worthless until she met with McClarty, which “turned her mood upside down” and made her feel much more motivated. Morris observed that the mentee has been more confident, happy and willing to step outside her comfort zone since the two have been matched.
“I believe that people can change, and that everyone needs someone,” McClarty added. “Seeing others smile, healed and happy is rewarding.”
About the Program: The mentoring program at The Education and Employment Ministry (TEEM) exists to help break cycles of incarceration through building meaningful, life-giving relationships. Mentoring relationships are important to provide accountability, a sense of community, support, and encouragement for TEEM participants in the process of reentering the community after incarceration.