Junior Achievement of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City
Marvin Lyle, a manager at Hertz Corp. in Oklahoma City, has served 117 students since he began volunteering five years ago for Junior Achievement, a program that fosters work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy for students in first-grade through high school.
Junior Achievement of Oklahoma selected Lyle as its outstanding mentor because of his uncanny ability to make every student feel important while zeroing in on one or two individuals who need special attention and respond to him in a positive manner. One of those special mentees is a teenager named Peyton, a young man who was quiet and shy.
Lyle encouraged Peyton to explore different career options but focus on one or two lines of work that peaked his interest. Peyton does not like to interact with people in general, which is why he enjoys computer programming. Marvin challenged him to step outside his comfort zone to help him grow and interact with others.
“The first time Peyton and I met, I could tell he was a little apprehensive and shy, but as I told him about me and what I had experienced in life, we began to find many commonalities,” Lyle said. “I was shy and soft spoken in school until one of my high school teachers took me under his wing and started mentoring me. That relationship inspired me to take risks and be the best that I could be.
“Peyton has goals and I told him that I would work on those goals with him,” Lyle added. “We meet at least once a month and discuss school and his future. I am watching a teenager mature into a young man!”
In addition to his role as a mentor, Lyle is one of Junior Achievement of Oklahoma’s top volunteer recruiters, said Jo Wise, regional director for Junior Achievement. He has inspired 77 other Hertz employees to go into classrooms over the past three years, reaching a total of 1,393 students in the Oklahoma City area.
Lyle said sometimes young people need someone outside of their family and school help them find their path.
“We all have potential to excel and do well in school, our jobs, our relationships and in everything that we do,” Lyle said. “It is a matter of being positive, coaching others and inspiring them to believe in themselves. I wish every child could have a mentor. This experience has enriched my life in a way I never could have imagined when it started.”
About the Program: Junior Achievement of Oklahoma offers volunteer-delivered K-12 programs fostering work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills and uses experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential.