Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Fresh Start Restart, June 1-15!!


Trusted Mentors is excited to present our virtual fundraiser, Fresh Start - Restart!!  We challenge you to a virtual Fresh Start - Restart!!  After a long past year, it's a great time to refresh ourselves - our outlook, our fitness, our mindset, or any part of our lives that may need rejuvenation!  And the best part is you know that you're helping other adults stay housed and out of prison! 

How will you restart?  Do you want to walk or run your own 5k? Or maybe you want to bike for miles and miles? Do you want your entire Zumba class to restart with you?   

 You set your restart goal and do it!! And then invite others to support your effort to help other people restart their lives through the power of mentoring.  

Fresh Start - Restart!! is the perfect event for individuals or families looking to be active outdoors, enjoying their restart out of our homes. From June 1-15, participants can decide on their method to support Trusted Mentors whenever and however is best for you and your family.   

Set a goal to restart and add your fundraising goal!   Take photos and post them!  #freshstartrestart #trustedmentors 

Click here for more information! 



Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Join us Virtually on May 12th at Noon for our Learn at Lunch: Overcoming Adversity

Our speaker is Renee Turner-Pack, Indiana State Representative HD 92, who will share her experiences of overcoming obstacles to become a Indiana State Representative. Our second speakers will speak on Leading, Mentoring and Allyship- Why the role we play helps improve the lives of others. LaToya Gilbert-Stewart, Program Director for the Digital Service Transformation and Shaquana Smiley, Business Change Manager for FHPS IT Engineering BST, at Federal Government Services (FGS) from Anthem, Inc. will speak on the value of mentorship in professional and personal capacity. They will explore the role of allyship as it applies to our current cultural dynamics.

Pre-registration is required for this free event.  Registration ends at 11 am, May 12th. 

More on our speakers:

Renee Pack is Indiana State Representative for District 92. She is a veteran of the United States Army, having served from 1986 through 1991. Pack is the ranking Democratic member of the Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee. She also serves on the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee and the Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee. One of Renee's top priorities in the legislature is to continue building bridges and strengthening relationships in her community. She believes we must build community upon a foundation of respect, civility, and justice for all.

Leading, Mentoring and Allyship- Why the role we play helps improve the lives of others. LaToya Gilbert-Stewart, Program Director for the Digital Service Transformation and Shaquana Smiley, Business Change Manager for FHPS IT Engineering BST, at Federal Government Services (FGS) from Anthem, Inc. will speak on the value of mentorship in professional and personal capacity. They will explore the role of allyship as it applies to our current cultural dynamics.


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Join us for our second virtual Learn at Lunch on April 14th at noon

April 14: Second Chance Hiring, with Jeffrey Korzenik, author of “UNTAPPED TALENT: How Second Chance Hiring Works for Your Business and the Community” followed by The Value of Peer Mentorship with Jeri Warner, Executive Director of Trusted Mentors, and Paul Sammons of RecycleForce discussing how Trusted Mentors is helping scale up the peer mentoring program at RecycleForce. 

The event is free but pre-registration is required.

More about our Guest speakers:

Jeffrey Korzenik is the Chief Investment Strategist for Fifth Third Bank. Jeff is a regular guest on CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business News, and his writings on economics and public policy have appeared in numerous national and regional publications. He was recently elected a Member of the Council on Criminal Justice for his work on the intersection of the justice system and the labor markets. Jeff’s forthcoming book, “UNTAPPED TALENT: How Second Chance Hiring Works for Your Business and the Community,” shares the business case and best practices for hiring people with criminal records and will be published by HarperCollins Leadership in April 2021. Jeff is a graduate of Princeton University and is a passionate supporter of cultural organizations, serving as a trustee of the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago as well as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. 

 Jeri Warner is Executive Director/Founder of Trusted Mentors, a non-profit that connects trained, volunteer mentors with at risk adults to help more people stay housed and out of prison. 

Paul Sammons is Director of Production at RecycleForce, a social enterprise in Indianapolis that that is committed to reducing crime through employment and job training, while improving the environment through electronics recycling. 


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Join us at our Learn at Lunch on March 10th at noon!


 There's no cost but pre-register at: https://trustedmentorslearnatlunchspeakerseries.eventbrite.com

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Trusted Mentors, Equity and Inclusion - from a mentor's perspective

 The term "equity" addresses not just a leveled playing field; that is "equality", but rather an acknowledgement that a person, or group of persons have had systemic barriers placed in their path that cannot be remedied simply by removing the barriers.  If someone has a shackle on her or his ankle, then simply moving them to the same "starting line" where everyone else begins the race isn't equity.  It may be "equality" in the generic sense of the term, but not equity.  Moving them to the same starting line as everyone else AND taking off the shackle is how we achieve equity for those who have been heretofore disenfranchised.

Whether someone has recently been homeless, is a youth transitioning to adulthood, or a formerly incarcerated individual attempting to reintegrate into society, acknowledging the inequity that they face, and working to rectify it is something that TM has done masterfully.  Simply getting employment, or a place to live, or reuniting with estranged family members isn't equity.  Those are certainly steps in the right directions for an individual, but there are additional services a person from one or more of those categories will need in order to move to a more equitable space.  Empowering the person through financial literacy once they have employment.  Offering mentorship in the area of parent/child relations will assist them when reconnecting with family.  Teaching/advising on rights and responsibilities when a person has their own place to live.  These are all ways in which TM works to create equity for its mentees.  Lack of access to financial literacy, stunted knowledge as it relates to parenting, and a generational naivete regarding the care of one's home are all among the many root causes of inequity.  Addressing these dynamics in the way that I know TM does, is key to achieving equity.  

Thursday, October 1, 2020

This article appeared in The Criterion, a newspaper of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis

 https://www.archindy.org/criterion/local/2020/08-28/corrections.html

Corrections Corner / Ed Witulski

Trusted Mentors aims to help offenders re-enter society

Ed WitulskiRe-entering society from prison often presents a series of obstacles that are difficult to overcome, so people give up.

Since its founding 16 years ago, Trusted Mentors has responded to a vital need in Indianapolis to help people in poverty and at high risk of homelessness achieve stable housing and progress to self-sufficiency.

We provide trained, volunteer mentors to adults at risk of homelessness, ex-offenders re-entering society, and young adults aging out of foster care.

We train, assign and support volunteer mentors to enable at-risk adults to stabilize their lives and succeed in reaching new goals. We partner with multiple agencies in Indianapolis that serve those at risk of homelessness and provide mentoring for the adults they refer to us.

Trusted Mentors is the only agency in Indiana to offer mentoring to at-risk adults. On average, over the past five years, when the relationship lasted 90 days, 95% of our mentees achieved stable housing, and 90% of ex-offenders did not re-offend.

Trusted Mentors has continued to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mentors have helped their mentees file taxes, learn how to receive and spend their stimulus checks, plus provide important human relationships.

One mentor, Charles, says he has had more contact with his mentee than ever before. “Arlonzo is opening up more. He’s a cool dude in search of putting his life back together and is doing great at Ivy Tech.” Arlonzo is a young adult involved in the criminal justice system and is working to move forward with his life.

Brent and his mentor Bob were matched in mid-2018 as Brent re-entered society after decades in prison. He wanted a mentor because he had been out of society for a long time, and knew it would be hard going back. Bob shares that Brent has, “never missed a day’s work while having to get up at 4:30 a.m. to catch the bus and walk several blocks from the bus line to be on time at 8 a.m.”

Brent set a budget, including saving 10% from every paycheck for unexpected needs such as helping his mother pay for an emergency medical service. Brent has improved employment with the goal of moving into better housing and establishing stronger family ties.

Bob says, “This kind of ‘goal setting’ strategy is why I am proud of Brent. He is a humble man willing to do what it takes to establish the life he wants for himself and his family. He is succeeding because he isn’t letting his history define his future.”

Bob adds, “Whenever I ask him what during his time in prison gave him the positive attitude he has toward the future, his response is always, ‘during my first 10 years I spent 24/7 trying to figure out how I could do what I did without getting caught. Then one day I thought, what a waste of time! What I should be doing is something that would keep me from coming back once I get out.’ ”
 

(Ed Witulski of Trusted Mentors is a member of the archdiocese’s Corrections Ministry Advisory Committee. A member of St. Monica Parish in Indianapolis, he invites you to meet with him to discuss mentoring by calling 317-590-6970, or e-mailing ewitulski@trustedmentors.org.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


On occasion, we like to share how our mentees have succeeded after their relationship ended.

In 2015, Tonya was introduced to Sipho and Sipho's young son, Leroy. Immigrants from Zimbabwe, they were waiting at the Salvation Army Shelter for documentation.

Sipho had experienced violence and trauma in both her home country and the refugee camps. Tonya and Sipho both remember Sipho’s tears, shared during their time together. And they remember the accomplishments, such as a degree from Ivy Tech in dental hygiene. Tonya and Sipho were matched for two years, then Tonya started mentoring other women. Since then, Tonya has stepped up to act as a lead mentor for other mentors.

Recently, Sipho reached out to Tonya to share her excitement that she’s now employed, married, and her son graduated from high school! Because Tonya is a realtor, Sipho and her husband wanted to know more about how to purchase a home in the future. Tonya was again able to steer her friend towards resources that can help her prepare her finances.

And Sipho shared that she doesn’t cry anymore like when they first met each other.  Her life is stable and happy, and she has hope for the future. We wish her and Leroy great success in the future!