TSD Memphis


Memphis CARES celebrates Mentor Month with awards

Our city has a lot of things to be proud about and among them are all the people who invest their time in children through mentoring. January is National Mentoring Month and 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of the celebration. 
 Dr. Sheila Flemming-Hunter

Our city has a lot of things to be proud about and among them are all the people who invest their time in children through mentoring. January is National Mentoring Month and 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of the celebration.

 President Barack Obama stated in his recent press release, “Across our nation, mentors steer our youth, we honor these important individuals who unlock the potential and nurture the talent of our country, and we encourage more Americans to reach out and mentor young people in their community.”

The Memphis CARES Mentoring Movement is calling on all able body black adults to seriously consider mentoring a young person. The rewards are great just as much for the person mentoring as it is for the mentee. Thus on Saturday, Jan. 29 at noon at the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis CARES will give adults an opportunity to volunteer to mentor, and outstanding mentors will also be recognized. Mayor A C Wharton will be the keynote speaker and three awards will be presented at the event that also will mark our organization’s third anniversary.

The awards recognize an outstanding individual (Ujima Mentoring Award), a faith-based institution (Imani Mentoring Award), and an outstanding couple (Mayor A C & Attorney Ruby Wharton Mentoring Award.) The criteria for the awards include longevity of mentoring, time investment, number of children mentored and success stories. While this is the second year for the Ujima and Imani Awards, this is the first year such an award will be presented in honor of the Whartons.

The nominees for the Imani Award include: Berean Missionary Baptist Church, Boys Incorporated, New Sardis Baptist Church, Oasis of Hope, Prescott Memorial Baptist Church, and Refugee Empowerment Program.

The 2011 Ujima Mentoring Award nominees include: Diane Ayers (Operation Hope/Urban Youth Initiative), Melissa Babb (Southside Middle School/MCS CONNECT Mentoring Program), Virgie Banks (Project AWARE Mentoring Program),Yvonne Bobo (Project AWARE Mentoring Program), Brodie Clayton (Olivet Fellowship Baptist Church), Albert Crozier (Project AWARE Mentoring Program), Pat Davis (Mt. Vernon Baptist Church), Yolanda Gates (Learn It Mentor/Tutor Program), Lonnie Gauldin (Rising Sun Baptist Church, Grassy), Cenata Gill  (Winchester Elementary School/Our Children Our Future), Nancy Harvey (Southside Middle School/MCS CONNECT Mentoring Program), Alcide King, Jr. (New Winchester Elementary School/MCS CONNECT Mentoring Program), Nellie Penick Lewis (MCS CONNECT Mentoring Program), Dr. Zella McDonald (MCVS CONNECT Mentoring Program), Bernita Miles (Adolescent Parenting/MCS CONNECT Mentoring Program), Jerry Roach (Central High School/MCS CONNECT Program), Rev. Peggie Russell (Nexus Leadership Program), Marron Thomas (Youth Visions), Deborah Wade (MCS CONNECT Mentoring Program), and Daryl Williams (MCS CONNECT Program).

Mayor A C and Attorney Ruby Wharton Mentoring Award nominees include: Ken and Lee Anne Brady (MCS CONNECT Mentoring Program), Joe and Betty Kyles (Foote Homes Public Housing), Jerry and Cristal Roach (MCS CONNECT Mentoring Program), Rev. Cedric and Rev. Peggie Russell (Greater Prospect Missionary Baptist Church), Rev. Reginald and Mary Tucker (Orange Mound Outreach Ministries), and Carlos and Linda Webster Neighborhood Christian Centers).

All these individuals have invested thousands of hours and many years in our community’s children. They have participated in community, faith based, school and informal mentoring programs. We salute them and invite all those who care about children and the power of one person making a difference to join us on Jan. 29.  The winners of each award will be announced at the event.  The event is free and open to the public.  

(Dr. Sheila Flemming-Hunter is Memphis CARES Circle Leader and founder and president of The Black Rose Foundation for Children, Inc. For more information, contact, her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 901-844-3572.)  

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