Monday, November 27, 2017

Pure Gratitude

“She’s like my big sister.”
“He has a servant’s heart.”
“She’s always striving to be better, and always laughing.”
“She perseveres through whatever life gives her.”
“He showed me how an attitude can be infectious.”
“She’s dedicated to getting a full-time job.”
“Thank you for being my friend.”
“I have no family. You have been my family.”
“She never gives up; she always comes up with a remedy.”
“She has an amazing soul.”
“She has a steady patience and courage, which serves her family well.”
“It’s a privilege to be in her life.”
“I have to take care of me to be my best me. I can’t let illness keep me down.”
“If my arms could reach across this room, I’d hug all of you.”

These were real statements from nearly 20 mentor-mentee couples at our November 2017 Recognition Night. Every pair was equally grateful for their relationships and as you can see by the last statement, even thankful for the entire group.

Thank you Trusted Mentors for helping spread such love, gratitude, and selflessness. You and all the awardees deserve a hug for every day of this giving season.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Remembering Craig Neef

As many of you know, our operations director Craig Neef passed away suddenly in late October. Losing Craig was a tragic shock for all of us.

A lovely Celebration of Life service was held on Nov. 5 in Westfield, and we’re grateful for those who shared memories of him and for all those who attended. It was so inspiring to hear from the mentees and mentors whose lives he touched. In addition to his family, Trusted Mentors’ staff and board members, many of our partner organizations – including RecycleForce and Indiana Department of Corrections  – joined us to celebrate Craig’s life.

Our hearts and prayers remain with Craig’s wife and soul mate, Gloria, and their family and friends. Craig will be remembered as a powerful spark in the remarkable growth and formative years of our organization, and will never be forgotten. Our executive director Jeri Warner relayed Craig’s response when she thanked him following five years of service to the organization: “I love every minute of it,” he said.

Well, Trusted Mentors loves you back, Craig. Until we meet again.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Trusted Mentors Gala 2017

Our 2017 Gala treated nearly 150 guests to a neon-colored, polka-dotted, and leather-lovin good time. Emcee and RTV6 news investigator Rafael Sanchez lead our Miami Vice Back to the 80s Party with his bright beach suit while Goodwill’s Shontavia Atkinson’s impressive ‘do won the big-hair contest.

Most importantly, Trusted Mentors’ mentor and ex-offender Reggie described how Trusted Mentors allows him to inspire his mentee Domini to live in a more constructive and faith-oriented way. Overall, our generous and thoughtful guests helped Trusted Mentors raise $33,000, ensuring Trusted Mentors continues to provide trained, volunteer mentors to people coming out of prison, at risk of homelessness, and aging out of the foster care system. With this selfless support, Trusted Mentors’ success rates like 90% of mentees in the re-entry track do not re-offend, are made possible.

We hope to see everyone at 2018’s Hawaiian Luau night!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Trusted Mentors night at the Indians!

Play ball! Summer nights at Victory Field are always a treat. Especially when we get to acknowledge the hard work of our mentors and mentees. Our August 22nd Indians game Recognition Night allowed almost 60 mentors and mentees, staff, and board members to mingle and celebrate accomplishments. Also, we were honored to have special guests interested in getting involved with Trusted Mentors join our event. Everyone enjoyed the pizza and had fun cheering for the Tribe!

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people standing, crowd and outdoor

Congratulations to our mentor and mentees and we can’t wait to recognize more milestones at our next Recognition Event in November.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Finding Me Again: Why I joined the Trusted Mentors Board
By: McKenze Rogers, Trusted Mentors Board Member

“He’s like my father, brother, uncle, friend, cousin, teacher … everybody all in one.”

Too tall for the microphone stand, this young adult mentee hovered over the mic as he addressed the 40 people attending Trusted Mentors’ 2017 Winter Recognition Night.

“I never knew my dad and I’ve never had any brothers …”

His voice started to crack slightly and his certificate, still clutched in both hands, began to shake. He grabbed the microphone stand to steady himself.

“So that’s why my mentor means so much to me ...”

Turning his head to face his mentor standing next to him, he took a deep breath.

“He is my only family.”

The mentor-mentee pair immediately embraced. I felt myself smile while my heartbeat seemed to echo in my ears. My impassioned, physical reaction to this mentor-mentee’s story was such a welcomed, refreshing feeling; and one I didn’t realize I had missed so much until that moment.

I had spent the last six months dissatisfied with my sales job, feeling like I had to take, take, take from people all the time. And having adopted my 1.5 year-old-son from Colombia, South America in the same year, I had pulled away from my volunteer commitments to ensure I could be a devoted working mother. Without a doubt, it’s a miracle being a mother and my family will always come first, which is why hearing over a dozen mentor-mentee pairs at Recognition Night express their sincere gratitude for being in each other’s lives made me realize that I wasn’t the best mom I could be. Because I had stopped doing one my favorite things - making an impact through mentoring - I was feeling out of place. My family and community deserved better.

Recognition Night confirmed for me that I needed to work with Trusted Mentors, one of my top three Board membership choices from the “Get on Board” event, which is held annually in November at The Children’s Museum and features 100 local organizations looking for Board participants. Putting time toward marketing plans and actions that ensure more people know about Trusted Mentors and how mentoring benefits our community fits my professional and personal passions exactly.

Bottom line, I realized being a part of Trusted Mentors’ leadership would help me teach AND SHOW my son the value of mentoring, what I believe is the ultimate form of volunteerism.

McKenze at the Fresh Start Bike Tour
Want to learn more about how Trusted Mentors is making a difference? Contact us at

Friday, June 23, 2017

Here's what RecycleForce, a partnering agency, shared with others about the value of Trusted Mentors: "As most of you know – the big ETJD study that RF is in showed some good outcomes against a randomly assigned control group and we attribute at least some of those good outcomes to our peer model where ex-offenders are trained as mentors to help others coming home.  Trusted Mentors and Jeri Warner are our key partners in these efforts and hope all of you will send good wishes and support Trusted Mentor’s way.  They are a good and solid partner for us and the need for mentoring is only growing!" 

The need for mentors at RecycleForce is growing and we hope you'll consider being a mentor and helping another person succeed at their goals to stay out of prison.