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January 15, 2018 - Foundation to Honor Outstanding Mentors During Oklahoma Mentor Day

by OFE | 2018-02-16 14:46:57

Seventy-four outstanding mentors from throughout Oklahoma will be honored Friday, Jan. 19, at the University of Oklahoma when the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and its David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative present the sixth annual Oklahoma Mentor Day.

As part of National Mentoring Month in January, the foundation will honor outstanding Oklahoma mentors who have been selected by mentoring organizations across the state. David Boren, founder and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence, will be the featured speaker and, along with his wife, Molly, will present certificates to the honorees. The day’s events will begin with a reception and continental breakfast at 9:15 a.m. in the ballroom of Oklahoma Memorial Union Ballroom, 900 Asp Ave. Honored Mentors and their mentees will be recognized at a 10 a.m. ceremony in the Union’s Meacham Auditorium.

“The goal of Oklahoma Mentor Day is to recognize outstanding mentors from all types of youth mentoring organizations around the state and to provide fun, educational activities for the honorees and their mentees to share,” said Beverly Woodrome, director of the Boren Mentoring Initiative. “Mentor Day also draws attention to the value of mentoring and the impact that mentors make in their mentees’ lives.”

“Mentoring Champions” is the theme of Oklahoma Mentor Day, which will include lunch and a variety of activities hosted by OU faculty and students. This marks the second year the event has been held at a university, giving mentors and mentees an opportunity to visit a college campus and participate in hands-on activities hosted by university departments. Optional afternoon tours will be offered at OU’s Innovation Hub, National Weather Center, Radar Innovations Laboratory and the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. Oklahoma Mentor Day information is available at www.okmentorday.org.

The Boren Mentoring Initiative grew out of David and Molly Boren’s commitment to mentoring and the proven impact it can have on a student’s success in and out of the classroom. The initiative was launched in 2006 to promote the growth and development of quality youth mentoring programs statewide.

The Mentoring Initiative promotes National Mentoring Month in Oklahoma. In addition to hosting Oklahoma Mentor Day, the foundation provides access to National Mentoring Month promotional resources on its website, www.okmentors.org. The theme of the 16th annual National Mentoring Month is “In Real Life,” which focuses on real life benefits of mentoring to young people, as well as real life benefits to mentors themselves, Woodrome said. “During National Mentoring Month, we want to raise awareness of the need for mentors and the impact of mentors in our state and encourage Oklahomans to volunteer just one hour a week for a school year to make a difference in the life of a young person” she said.

In a survey of Oklahoma mentoring organizations, the Boren Mentoring Initiative found that the most positive outcomes to mentees were improved academic performance, positive mentor-mentee relationships, improved behavior, increased self-esteem and more enrichment opportunities. The survey also found that the greatest challenge facing mentoring organizations was a shortage of volunteer mentors, Woodrome said. “Mentoring opportunities range from serving pre-K students to young adults and can often be arranged to fit volunteers’ schedules,” she added.

The Boren Mentoring Initiative has created a directory of more than 170 mentoring organizations statewide and works with those organizations to seek volunteers, offer resources and promote mentoring best practices. The initiative also provides consulting and resources for groups seeking to create new mentoring programs.

The Boren Mentoring Initiative is one of five programs of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, a statewide nonprofit organization founded by David L. Boren in 1985 to recognize and encourage academic excellence in public schools.

For more information, visit www.okmentors.org  or contact Beverly Woodrome at (405) 236-0006, Ext. 18.