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.