Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday with Mentor and Mentee - Kim and Stacey

Dear Kim,

“Having you as my mentor for a second year has meant so much knowing you are serious about seeing a better person within me. Last year our relationship was kind of restricted and this year we’ve been through the happy times and the bad times as well. With your help, I’ve become more open minded and I’ve made wiser decisions. I will never forget when we went bowling with my brother and kicked his rear end lol XD”

Your Mentee, Stacey

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

YMC Mentor honored at our nation's capitol !

On Friday, June 17, our 71 year old mentor Tim Wingard was one of 26 “exceptional older adult volunteers” to be recognized by MetLife Foundation and n4a 2011 Older Volunteers Enrich America Awards. (Over 160 agencies throughout the nation nominated their older adult volunteers for dedication and hard work.)

His mentee Giovani Douresseau attended the awards ceremony with Tim in Washington, DC. He told me today that out of all the stories told of the 26 awardees, Tim and Gio’s was the only one that received a standing ovation. Tim told Kimberlee that other than the birth of his daughters this was the most amazing experience of his life. Gio (a scholar athlete now) admitted that he had a hard time keeping up with the old guy while they explored our nation’s capital together.

Mentee Becomes the Mentor
In an ironic twist of fate, Tim recently had brain surgery. Since Tim is still recovering, Gio had to take a large amount of the responsibility of guiding them through their trip itinerary. My friends, this work is blessed.

This is the write up from the event program:

"Tim Wingard 70, has been a volunteer at Youth Mentoring Connection (YMC) for seven years. YMC awakens at-risk youth to their power, unique gifts and purpose by matching them with caring adult mentors. Tim, who still surfs, volunteers his time for the surf program and brought his mentee, Giovanni (Gio) surfing every weekend. At 13, Gio weighed 285 pounds and was struggling in most areas of his life in South Central L.A. Tim taught Gio how to eat healthfully, to surf and to be a proud, responsible man. As a result of Tim’s mentoring Gio lost 120 pounds. Gio is now president of his high school’s debate team, an honor student, surfer and basketball player who has been accepted to several universities. Tim and Gio remain extremely close five years after first meeting.
YMC has a vision of community where young people are truly seen and not just watched…"

Finally, thanks to all who support our ability to hold the space for these kinds of miracles.

peace and blessings,


Tony LoRe
CEO & Founder, Youth Mentoring Connection

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday with Mentor and Mentee - Rachel & Helen

"She is like part of my family now because I feel that I can talk to her about anything and she won’t judge me. Thank you for being my mentor because you’ve shown how to be a better person. Thank you because you took the time to get to know me. With your help, I’ve become more open minded and now I’m willing to try new things, thanks to Rochy. Because of you, I have learned to have different views of life and look at things from other points of view. I will never forget when we went to the Santa Monica stairs because I felt we got closer and that we bonded more."


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shout Factory! - Haiku

In this session mentors and mentees put in practice the art of a writing a Haiku. Each mentor and mentee wrote a Haiku in their group and shared them with each other.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday with Mentor and Mentee - Jose & Jewel

"I would like to thank my mentor for taking me to places I have never been before. She was very nice to me. She always asked how I felt and I thought that was very touching. From this program I learned that with education you can achieve anything. My mentor Jewel is the best!"


CHLA SR I Game of Life

Mentees get a taste of life by going through a life size version of "the Game of Life"!

CHLA JR Survivor

Mentors and Mentees practice teamwork by going through different obstacle courses!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Agueda's Thoughts: Really Alabama?

The state of Alabama just passed a new anti-immigration law that entails the following: it requires law enforcement to “make a ‘reasonable attempt’ to determine a person's citizenship and immigration status, given a ‘reasonable suspicion’ that the person is an illegal immigrant — unless doing so would hinder an investigation.” Public elementary and secondary schools must now determine the immigration status of its students and must submit and annual report to the state board of education on the number of ‘presumed’ illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants are cannot receive state or local public benefits, enroll or attend college and solicit or gain employment. It prohibits harboring or transporting illegal immigrants and knowingly employing them. The number of things it “prohibits” or “outlaws” continues.

After reading the details of this new law I want to propose a simple solution that will speed up the identification process of illegal immigrants: all illegal immigrants must walk around with a big bulls-eye on their back. Not only would that cut cost for the government, it would make the GOP happy, and give peace of mind to those who suffer from xenophobia.  I am sure that supporters of the new Alabama law would love such an idea and have probably already considered it.

Developing some sort of sarcastic solution to this problem of illegal immigration that seems to be on everyone’s radar was probably the only thing that kept me from writing a very undiplomatic response to how I feel about the new law in Alabama. In my opinion, it is repulsive, far-fetched, and extremely racist. It promotes racial profiling and discrimination just like SB1070 in Arizona, it criminalizes any behavior that should be and is constitutional like having a place to live and receiving medical attention, it targets youth who are merely going to school as the law requires, and it promotes a negative attitude and perspective on immigration. Not only does it perpetuate the fear of undocumented immigrants it also increases the fear in individuals who are merely in this country to pursue a better life. Undocumented immigrants already live in the shadows of this country and this law only tells them to remain in the dark and reminds them that they are unwanted.

Undocumented immigrants are a part of our communities and society. They are people’s friends, coworkers, brothers, sisters, or fathers. Because of that, undocumented immigrants are not the only ones who feel the repercussions of laws such as the one just passed in Alabama; everyone around them feels the weight of such laws and they are forced to live in fear. Undocumented immigrants will not disappear or just “go away” like many may wish, so how about the federal government really does what it keeps promising and works to develop a truly comprehensive immigration reform plan before more of this ridiculously racist and unreasonable laws pop up in more states?