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Mentor Me North Georgia, mentees show gratitude for program

Annual Mentor Me breakfast shines spotlight on mentoring

This year's Mentor Me breakfast attendees chatted over biscuits and gravy before hearing several heartwarming testimonials. (click for larger version)
November 13, 2013
FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth officials, friends and families gained insight on the priceless memories the mentors and mentees of Mentor Me North Georgia will cherish for a lifetime.

On Nov. 5, the nonprofit organization held a Magic Moments Breakfast at Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center, 3410 Ronald Reagan Boulevard, and celebrated and honored the volunteers of its "Bright Futures Ahead" program.

"I can assure you that Mentor Me North Georgia is absolutely changing the world of the children who are enrolled in the program through the mentoring relationships that are there," said James McCoy, Mentor Me treasurer.

During the breakfast, catered by Tam's Backstage, mentors and mentees shared past experiences that highlighted the value of an adult presence in the life of a child at risk.

Septimus Adside, a Kick it Up graduate, gave his testimony and said the program taught him leadership, social and occupational skills.

"I lost both my parents before I came down to Georgia, and I had a lot of problems," Adside said. "When I met other kids in the program with problems too, it made me feel less alone."

Sylvia Cardona, Mentor Me's executive director, stressed the effect a mentor has not only on the mentee, but the mentee's family.

Chris Luttrell is a grandmother who enrolled her grandson in the program three years ago.

Luttrell said the changes in her grandson's life are visible.

"He is my grandson's mentor, big brother, friend and hero," she said.

A seven-year mentee, Tony Patton awarded his mentors, Robert and Annie Hnatishion, with the "Mentors of the Year Award."

Patton said he was honored and privileged to present them with the award because they earned it in every way possible.

"They are always quick to listen and never quick to judge," Patton said. "They are like family to me and always will be."

Virgilio Perez-Pascoe, Mentor Me's chairman, said there is a waiting list of children in the community who cannot be served, and the annual breakfast event helps raise awareness.

"That is why we need your help," Perez-Pascoe said. "We have a proven method of mentoring, which with your help, can be expanded judiciously to serve more outstanding students who need an adult role model."

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