Seedling recently honored our amazing volunteer mentors at the 14th Annual Mentor Appreciation luncheon on May 10th. Master of Ceremony Rob Faubion, an Austin non-profit professional, award-winning journalist and entertainer, presided over the event. The crowd was enchanted with a tribute to our mentors, celebrating the message, “you are here for a reason” from children’s author Nancy Tillman’s book of the same name. It was a wonderful feeling for Seedling to recognize over 300 dedicated, caring volunteers in person, emphasizing their heartfelt work this year.
“We are grateful for all of you and how much you care. Your skills and your knowledge, we see that you share. You are here for a reason, your mentees all know, how much your mere presence, helps them to grow. You are a best friend, you like to do stuff. You make the hard times just a little less rough. You are here for a reason, emotions you lift, Seedling mentor, you are a gift!”
Further highlighting just how significant a Seedling mentor can be, our special guest speaker and graduating senior, Jessica Morales, spoke of her mentoring experience with Seedling mentor, Beth:
“The first year with my mentor, she spent most of her time trying to get me to say more than 5 words and I tried to not sit in awkward silence with her. I remember her bringing activities for us to do together, just so I would say at least one or two words to her… Over the years we have spent together as mentor and mentee, she has become more than a trusted mentor, she is like family to me. She really did see me grow up and get out of that shyness to become who I am today. Not only has my mentor helped me on an emotional aspect but she has also helped me navigate school, and the goals I wanted to achieve. Without her support, I wouldn’t have such confidence in starting the next chapter of my life.”
Each year we bestow a special honor, the Angels and Advocates Award, to an individual or entity whose advocacy, support, or public action has made a significant difference in the lives of children and families of the incarcerated. In 2018/19, Cisco has shown a dedicated commitment to bettering the lives of Seedling mentees by repeatedly finding ways to support Seedling through visibility campaigns, volunteering, and fiscal sponsorship. We are so thankful for their service.
The staff here at Seedling is already imagining what we can accomplish together next year! We look forward to seeing you in the fall for another meaningful year of Seedling mentoring.