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

No comments: