Nancy GammieA&W Asbury & Whitman Connection
|Nancy Gammie, a volunteer for A&W Connection of Tulsa, 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 Gammie’s mentee, Donnell. A&W Connection is a partnership between Asbury United Methodist Church and Walt Whitman Elementary School in Tulsa. (Photo by Travis Caperton, Oklahoma State Capitol)
Nancy Gammie of Tulsa has been selected as the outstanding mentor for A&W Connection, a partnership between Asbury United Methodist Church and Walt Whitman Elementary School in Tulsa. The program works to connect community members with volunteer opportunities at Whitman.
Asbury volunteer Barbie Page nominated Nancy for going the extra mile in her seven-year commitment to her mentee Donnell. The duo began meeting weekly when Donnell was a kindergartener at Alcott Elementary School in Tulsa and quickly became friends. Nancy helped Donnell learn his letters and numbers. In the beginning, Nancy would read to Donnell. Now he reads to her.
When Alcott was closed the following year, Nancy had no idea where her mentee had been relocated. With the help of Tulsa Public Schools’ Education Service Center, she was reunited with Donnell at Walt Whitman Elementary School.
“The first day Nancy walked into Donnel’s second-grade classroom at Whitman, he exclaimed with joy, “You found me!” said Barbie. “That’s when Nancy knew she was in for the long haul.”
Donnell is now a fifth-grader at Whitman, but has attended another school part of the time. Each time Donnell moves, Nancy follows him.
“Over the years, Nancy has become much more than just a tutor to Donnell,” Barbie said. “She has become his mentor, his friend and a friend to Donnell’s family, too.”
Among their adventures, Nancy and Donnell have participated in the library summer reading program and enjoyed trips to the zoo, aquarium and other sites. They have been swimming together, and sometimes Donnell attends church with Nancy and her family. They love to eat brownies and hamburgers together.
“It is with great pride that the A&W Connection recognizes Nancy Gammie as our Mentor of the Year,” Barbie said.