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Jan. 22, 2020 - Outstanding Mentors Honored During National Mentor Month

by OFE-NEWS | 2020-01-22 10:26:02

OKLAHOMA CITY – Thirty-one outstanding Oklahoma mentors are being recognized by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and their community mentoring organizations during National Mentor Month in January.

The honored mentors were submitted by their respective mentoring organizations across the state, and each received certificates of achievement from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. The certificates are being presented in the communities where the mentors volunteer.

“We salute these outstanding mentors for the important role they play in helping young people achieve better academic, social and economic futures,” said Emily Stratton, executive director of the Foundation for Excellence. “Oklahoma mentors are truly changing lives!”

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is a statewide nonprofit that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools. Through its statewide mentoring initiative, the foundation promotes the growth and development of quality youth mentoring programs. The foundation works with school districts and mentoring organizations to promote mentoring as a positive step toward academic success.

 “Through a statewide survey of mentoring organizations, we found that the most positive program outcomes were improved academic performance, positive mentor-mentee relationships, improved behavior, increased self-esteem and greater enrichment opportunities for participating youth,” Stratton said. “Mentoring also helps students develop resilience and feel supported as they face difficult life challenges.”

“Mentor in Real Life” is the theme of National Mentoring Month, a campaign sponsored by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership to celebrate the power of mentoring relationships and recruit new volunteer mentors. The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence provides a directory of mentoring organizations across the state seeking volunteers. For more information and a list of this year’s honored mentors, visit www.okmentors.org.

 (EDITOR: The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and community mentoring organizations are recognizing 31 outstanding Oklahoma mentors during National Mentoring Month. Honorees are listed below by their hometown and the city in which they mentor. Honored mentor bios and program descriptions are posted online at www.okmentors.org and linked below.)

BARTLESVILLE – Mary Beth Buchanan, an administrative assistant for Tri County Technology, is the outstanding mentor for the Lowe Family Young Scholars Program.

BEAVER – Hattie Whipple, a Beaver business woman, is the outstanding mentor for Beaver Duster Mentoring Program.

CACHE – John Albright, owner and operator of Albright’s Heating and Air Conditioning in Indiahoma, is the outstanding mentor for BEST! (Building Extraordinary Success Today) Mentoring, a program of the Cache Schools Education Foundation.

CHEYENNE – Joe L. Hay, a retired Roger Mills County sheriff, is the outstanding mentor for B.E.A.R.S. (Building Esteem and Responsibility) Mentoring Program in  Cheyenne.

DEL CITY – Maria Simpson, an accountant for Chesapeake Energy, is the outstanding mentor for STARBASE Oklahoma 2.0, Department of Defense, program at Kerr Middle School in Del City. Simpson is a resident of Oklahoma City.

DUNCAN – Jean Schalit, a Duncan retiree, is the outstanding mentor for Link ONE Mentoring, ONE True Light, Inc.

EDMOND – Lexi Arnold is the outstanding mentor for Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. She is a student at Cimarron Middle School and a resident of Edmond.

Cardin Hart, a recent chemical engineering graduate from Oklahoma State University, was selected as the outstanding mentor for the Chemical Engineering Student Mentor Program in OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. He is now attending medical school at the University of Oklahoma. Hart is a resident of Edmond.

ENID – Max Neville, an Enid community volunteer, is the outstanding mentor for Coach-A-Kid Enid, a program of United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma.

LAWTON – Jeff Elbert is the outstanding mentor for Young Men in Action and Gentlemen of Lawton High School. He is a math teacher at Lawton High School and a wrestling coach.

Danielle Nickell, a Lawton senior majoring in accounting at University of Oklahoma, is the outstanding mentor for the JCPenney Leadership Center in OU’s Price College of Business.

LEEDEY – Roy McClendon, a retired educator and the volunteer mayor of Leedey, is the outstanding mentor for Believe In Some One Now (B.I.S.O.N.) Mentors, a program of Leedey Public Schools.

MANITOU – Jim Linker, a retired history teacher and principal from Vernon, Texas, is the outstanding mentor for Southwest Oklahoma Juvenile Center in Manitou.

MARLOW – Carina Friedl, a procurement specialist for Halliburton Services, is the outstanding mentor for Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma.

MIDWEST CITY – Thelma Bratten, a retired teacher from Midwest City, is the outstanding mentor for Whiz Kids Oklahoma, Oklahoma City.

Angela Keneda, a reading professor at Rose State College, is the outstanding mentor for Critical Learning in Community Knowledge (CLICK) at Rose State College.

NORMAN – Juliana Guisti Cavallin and Emily Merckx, both seniors at Norman High School, are the honored mentors for Norman High School’s Elementary Spanish Mentor Program.

Danielle Nickell, a Lawton senior majoring in accounting at University of Oklahoma, is the outstanding mentor for the JCPenney Leadership Center in OU’s Price College of Business.

Anthu Trinh, a senior biochemistry and pre-med major at the University of Oklahoma, is the outstanding mentor for Alcott Middle School Mentoring Program. She resides in Norman.

Jacob Klenke, a senior Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering student at the University of Oklahoma, is the outstanding mentor for the Chevron Phillips Scholar-Mentor Program in OU’s School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering. Klenke is from Greenville, Ill., and currently resides in Norman.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Lexi Arnold is the outstanding mentor for Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. She is a student at Cimarron Middle School and a resident of Edmond.

Thelma Bratten, a retired teacher from Midwest City, is the outstanding mentor for Whiz Kids Oklahoma, Oklahoma City.

Aaron Corona, an Oklahoma City resident and junior mechanical engineering major at Oklahoma State University, is the outstanding mentor for the Summer Bridge Program in the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.

Shari Dixon, a detective for the Village Police Department, has been named the outstanding mentor for the INTEGRIS Positive Directions Mentoring Program at Stanley Hupfeld Academy in Oklahoma City.

Maria Simpson, an accountant for Chesapeake Energy, is the outstanding mentor for STARBASE Oklahoma 2.0, Department of Defense, Program at Kerr Middle School in Del City. Simpson is a resident of Oklahoma City.

Karen Walker, a sixth-grade teacher at ASTEC Charter School, is the outstanding mentor for STARBASE Oklahoma 2.0, Department of Defense, program at ASTEC Charter School.

OWASSO – William Crawford, a senior architecture major at Oklahoma State University, is the outstanding mentor for the Architecture Coaching program in OSU’s  College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. Crawford is from Owasso.

Caleb Smith, a senior biochemistry and molecular biology major at Oklahoma State University, is the outstanding mentor at OSU’s LASSO Center Tutoring Program. He is from Owasso.

STILLWATER – Fiona Byrd, a junior biosystems engineering major at Oklahoma State University, is the outstanding mentor for Women Inspiring Successful Engineers (WISE) in the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.

Aaron Corona, a junior mechanical engineering major at Oklahoma State University, is the outstanding mentor for the Summer Bridge Program in the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. Corona is from Oklahoma City.

William Crawford, a senior architecture major at Oklahoma State University, is the outstanding mentor for the Architecture Coaching program in OSU’s  College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. Crawford is from Owasso.

Cardin Hart, a recent chemical engineering graduate from Oklahoma State University, was selected as the outstanding mentor for the Chemical Engineering Student Mentor Program in OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. He is now attending medical school at the University of Oklahoma. Hart is a resident of Edmond.

Lamar Lawson, a senior electrical engineering major at Oklahoma State University, is the outstanding mentor for Inspiring Successful Engineers, a program in OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.

Jennifer Litchfield, a junior mechanical and aerospace engineering student at Oklahoma State University, is the outstanding mentor for the Student Council Big-Little Program in the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.

Rebecca Powers, a senior chemical engineering student at Oklahoma State University, is the outstanding mentor for Parker Engineering, Architecture and Technology Experts (PEATE) in the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.

Caleb Smith, a senior biochemistry and molecular biology major at Oklahoma State University, is the outstanding mentor at OSU’s LASSO Center Tutoring Program. He is from Owasso.

TULSA – James Parker, a Tulsa frame carpenter and community volunteer, is the outstanding mentor for World Baseball Outreach in Tulsa.

Susan Kay Watkins is the outstanding mentor for Reading Partners of Tulsa. Watkins, a resident of Sapulpa, is the past event coordinator for the Tulsa Business and Legal News. She is a marketing major at Tulsa Community College.