Wanda Pratt (left), aka “Mama Durant,” the mother of Thunder Basketball star Kevin Durant, and Linda K. Neal (right), president of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, present an Outstanding Mentor Award to Rick Claxton, a volunteer with Oklahoma City's Stand in the Gap Ministries' Life Launch, during Oklahoma Mentor Day at the Capitol. (Photo by Travis Caperton, Oklahoma State Capitol)
Life Launch, Oklahoma City
Rick Claxton of Oklahoma City has been named the outstanding mentor for Oklahoma City’s Stand in the Gap Ministries’ Life Launch, a program that serves youth and young adults who are aging out of the foster care system. The program pairs young people with trained volunteers in small groups, where they receive relational, emotional and spiritual support and encouragement.
“Rick is simply amazing,” said Program Manager Kathy Taylor. “He always sees the good in others and attempts to help others to find the good he sees in them.”
Claxton, a retired director of Human Resources for American Color Corp., has been a volunteer for Life Launch for over a year. Taylor said Claxton went above and beyond to spend time with his first mentee, who aged out of foster care when he was 18. Claxton purchased books for the young man to study for his GED (General Equivalency Diploma) and even made arrangements to take him to Seminole State College to take his SAT Test and visit the campus. While there, Claxton helped the youth reconnect with a former coach from Capitol Hill High School who was now coaching at Seminole State.