The theme of the year-end celebration ceremony was “Be the Change” reflecting our work with the young people we have the privilege and responsibility of mentoring. Throughout the year we have encouraged our mentors and mentees alike to be the change that they want to see in their community and world. Our guests received a warm welcome from our President, Gunilla Girardo, and Program Director, Jamila Sams who sincerely thanked our program participants, partners, and board members for a great year!
Program Coordinators, Joseph Green and Stephanie Stevenson highlighted the group’s accomplishments and moments of growth throughout the year. After watching an exciting photo slideshow of mentoring moments, one of our Parkside students shared a powerful poem about his experiences with growing up as a young black male in a low-income community in Washington, DC. This was followed by the amazing Karega Bailey and his spoken word and musical collective SolSpoken. Bailey applauded our youth and mentors for sparking positive change in each other’s lives and committing themselves to making a difference in the world!
The ceremony ended with new and returning mentors and mentees sharing testimonies about their relationships and congratulating our four graduating seniors who will be attending Youngstown University, Marshall College, and Virginia State University in the fall. We know our Parkside Eagles will soar to greatness!
A special thanks Juanita Hardy, Mentor Foundation USA Board Member, for her help in securing access to The Source Black Box Theater.
Story by Stephanie Stevenson, Program Facilitator at Mentor Foundation USA